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Marketing CBD in OTC drugs is risky

Ensure GMPs are developed and followed. CBD is risky when added to OTC topicals.

Marketing CBD in OTC drugs is risky

#WarningLetterWednesday involves CBD in an OTC topical (hand sanitizer) and further defines FDA’s position regarding CBD as an active or inactive ingredient in OTC drugs. There are also numerous GMP violations that paint an overall picture of noncompliance.

The references to CBD in this letter are worth reading. It is hard to defend adding CBD as an inactive ingredient if the amount of CBD is listed on the label or is marketed for CBD content.

From warning letter:

“Specifically, your product label for MEDICALLY MINDED 100% THC FREE Hand Sanitizer Gel prominently features on the Principal Display Panel (PDP) the statement, “200 MG CANNABINOIDS 100 MG CBD + 100MG CBG.” The product label also lists,.....a website that markets and sells CBD products for various therapeutic benefits. As noted above, CBD and CBG are not an active ingredient in any applicable final monograph”.

Although is letter is only one of seven CBD-related warning letters in 2021 (down from 21 last year) it is essentially a teaching case about the importance of GMPs.

The FDA sent two records requests which the company did not answer. Not answering these FDA requests is a prohibited act and is serious. The FDA then inspected the company and found serious violations including hand sanitizer that contained 0% ethanol and 58% methanol. This is dangerous! This then led to a national recall of the adulterated lot numbers of hand sanitizer.

If the company had a proper Quality Management System (QMS) they would have responded to the FDA’s information request and may have prevented an inspection. They would have also identified the adulterated hand sanitizer before it shipped to the public and caused the subsequent recall.

The company was issued a 483 which they didn’t respond to.

Learn more about the differences between warning letters and 483’s here.

Properly responding to a 483 is an important part of avoiding warning letters. Most 483’s can be addressed with the FDA before they are elevated into a warning letter. Learn more about reasons to avoid a warning letter here.

The GMP violations include not setting specifications, quality not approving production procedures, and quality not controlling incoming components. Although these violations cite OTC drug manufacturing regulations, they are the basics all dietary supplement companies should be complying with. Not writing and following specifications is one of the most common supplement GMP citations.

Read warning letter here.

Disclaimer: The educational information provided here is for informational purposes only. Contact an attorney for specific legal advice. Rule #1 in compliance is to ensure marketing is truthful and not misleading.

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