With few new blockbuster drugs in the works, the pharmaceutical industry is increasingly turning to plain ol’ vitamins, jacking up the price, and making claims that the supplement industry could never get away with.
They’re already selling overpriced prescription versions of fish oil, niacin, and more. There’s even talk of a B vitamin blend being sold as a dementia “drug”!
For example, a prescription version of fish oil called Vascepa will set you back $2.12 per capsule — or more than $250 for a bottle of 120.
A high-quality, high-potency omega-3 supplement from a trustworthy manufacturer, on the other hand, will run you 10-20 cents a capsule, or anywhere from $15-$40 a bottle.
And, if a recent court case settlement is any indication, that’s just the beginning.
See, the manufacturer of Vascepa, the Ireland-based company Amarin, had gotten into hot water with the FDA for having the nerve to say that it could cut the risk of coronary heart disease.
Never mind that dozens of studies have made the link…because in the FDA’s book, it’s an “unapproved” claim. So, the agency came down on the company harder than a sack of bricks.
Well, well, well… Big Pharma got a taste of its own bad medicine… and found out the hard way what it’s like to make an honest claim about a natural supplement…and they didn’t like it one bit.
The entire industry fought back, filing legal arguments on Amarin’s behalf. The result was an ugly bloody nose for the FDA. The agency was forced to settle with the company and will now allow it to make science-backed claims about fish oil even if they’re “unapproved.”
Now, I know some folks in natural medicine are celebrating.
But this doesn’t mean that folks can finally get the truth about vitamins with science-backed claims proven by gold-standard studies.
Unlike Amarin, most vitamin makers don’t have millions of dollars to spend in a protracted legal battle with federal regulators…or a small army of Big Pharma lawyers ready to back them up.
That means the FDA could still go after the little guy — and they probably will, too.
And that means you’ll now see a tale of two types of supplements:
- Big Pharma’s overpriced fish oil, which will be able to make truthful claims about omega-3 fatty acids and
- inexpensive natural supplements, which wouldn’t dare use those same phrases, no matter how truthful they are.
They’ll try to hoodwink you into overpaying for the Big Pharma version…because with all of those scientific claims, surely it must be a better product!
But don’t be fooled by the marketing, the label. or even the fact that one requires a prescription and the other is on the shelf at your local pharmacy…it’s the same stuff inside, with the same benefit.