A consumer walking down the aisle of a local drugstore can choose from a wide variety of supplements, vitamins and nutrients for his or her particular needs. Whether it’s a pill to treat a specific ailment, nutrients and minerals to supplement a deficient diet or vitamins tailored to age and gender to promote long-term health, supplements provide significant benefits to the consumers who rely on them. Yet if Sen. Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, and the Food and Drug Administration have their way, many of these products will disappear.
Earlier this month, Mr. Durbin and the FDA released proposals for a time-consuming and costly approval process for vitamins and nutritional supplements. The proposals would force companies to pull these products off the shelves for months, if not for good, and significantly raise prices, making the remaining supplements expensive and harder to find. While it isn’t a direct ban, regulatory hurdles such as these are a means by which government bureaucrats get in the way of individuals’ ability to make their own decisions about their health care.