The expansion would allow products such as probiotics, omega fatty acids, glucosamine, echinacea supplements to go through voluntary notification.
Traditional medicines such as herbal cough, cold and flu medicines, tonics, as well as medicated oils, balms, and medicated plasters will also be allowed for voluntary notification.
The voluntary notification scheme was only open to vitamins, mineral supplements, and products with higher risk of adulteration, such as weight loss products, when it was introduced last August.
Under the scheme, health supplement firms could submit information on their products to show that they comply with safety, quality standards, and labelling requirements. Products that are compliant will be listed on an online database accessible by the public.
“The first phase of the voluntary notification initiative for Health Supplements (HS) and Traditional Medicines (TM) had commenced on 1 August 2022 with commonly purchased products such as vitamin and mineral supplements, and products at higher risk of adulteration such as those for weight loss, pain relief and male vitality enhancement.
“Since its launch, we have received positive participation. The Health Sciences Authority is pleased to announce that the second phase of this initiative will commence on 1 August 2023,” it said in a statement.
To participate in the initiative, companies are required to provide relevant documents, such as manufacturer’s license / certification, the certificate of analysis, final artwork or product label, and laboratory test report for toxic heavy metal and microbial limits etc.
The turn-around-time for new product notification is 60 working days and no fee is required.
Over 150 products listed
As of July 25, a total of 152 products could be found on the database.
LAC Global (Singapore) is one of the firms with the highest number of products listed at 18, followed by local firm HST Medical and VitaHealth Asia Pacific at 14 each, and Eibeika Health & Beauty at nine.
Swisse-owner Health & Happiness Group (H&H Group) and Herbalife were listed with eight products each, while Bayer has seven.
Active Ingredients Regulations – not applicable to health supplements
On the other hand, the HSA has proposed a new law that will require companies dealing with health products containing active ingredients to be inspected for Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) or Good Distribution Practice (GDP) compliance.
The proposed legislation, known as Health Products (Active Ingredients) Regulations 2023, will be applicable to manufacturers, importers, and wholesalers of health products containing active ingredients, or pharmacologically active substances.
In response to queries from NutraIngredients-Asia, HSA said that health and dietary supplements would not be covered under the scope of the proposed Regulations.
The proposed Regulations, however, are applicable to therapeutic products, cell tissue, gene therapy products, and medical devices.
“The scope of the proposed Health Products (Active Ingredients) Regulations 2023 is for active ingredients usable in the manufacture of therapeutic products, cell tissue or gene therapy products and medical devices. Health and dietary supplements are not covered under the scope of the proposed Regulations,” said the HSA.