CHPA Statement on Irresponsible Claims Regarding Oleander and COVID-19

“Dietary supplements including herbs such as oleander and its constituents are regulated by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and must be established as safe prior to marketing in the U.S. Recent news reports have noted that an extract of oleander (oleandrin) could potentially be used to treat COVID-19 infection. Under federal law, dietary supplements are not permitted to be marketed to diagnose, cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent any disease including COVID-19. Any such misleading claims about dietary supplements are reckless, illegal, and can be harmful. Consumers should not attempt to make or consume oleander-based products for COVID-19 as they may contain active substances called glycosides that are known to be toxic to humans.

“Dietary supplements are an important and growing part of personal healthcare and have numerous evidence-based benefits such as filling critical nutritional gaps, supporting certain disease-specific needs, contributing to a variety of healthy biological functions, and supporting overall wellness for children and adults. However, when irresponsible manufacturers and promoters prey on the public with false and misleading claims, FDA should use its authority to take swift action. 

“FDA already has a robust process in place for new dietary ingredient notifications, and CHPA is leading industry efforts and working with other industry associations to identify policy improvements, including mandatory product registration requirements, to update and modernize the regulatory framework of dietary supplements – DSHEA.”

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Founded in 1881, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) is the national trade association representing the leading manufacturers and marketers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, dietary supplements, and consumer medical devices. Every dollar spent by consumers on OTC medicines saves the U.S. healthcare system more than $7, contributing a total of $146 billion in savings each year. CHPA is committed to empowering consumer self-care by preserving and expanding choice and availability of consumer healthcare products. www.chpa.org

Contact: Mike Tringale, 202-429-3520, MTringale@chpa.org