Your provider may recommend vitamins and supplements as part of your treatment plan. You are under no obligation to purchase these supplements and your continued care at the Rothfeld Center is not dependent on your decision whether to purchase any item recommended by your provider. The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate, test, or approve these supplements like they would with a prescription medication. Your provider will discuss the benefits and risks of any supplement recommended, and will discuss with you the limits of what is known about the supplement. You should ask any questions that you may have about the supplement and voice any concerns that you may have about the recommendation.
If you decide to purchase a recommended supplement, you are free to decide where to make that purchase. Most supplements are available for purchase from The Rothfeld Center. These are supplements that we have chosen to offer based on our research into their quality and because they have undergone third party testing. The Rothfeld Center purchases these supplements at wholesale price and sells them with a profit margin sufficient to pay for administrative and apothecary costs. On request, we can provide you full information about the cost at which we purchased a particular supplement.
You can also opt to purchase supplements on your own, including through the Internet. When deciding where to buy a supplement, we urge you to consider the following:
There have been many instances of counterfeit labels and products as being sold on websites such as Amazon.com, as well as expired products being illegally repackaged and sold as viable product. The quality of the products you use during your treatment is very important, and in an unregulated industry, it is important to find brands that undergo third party testing and can supply the results of these tests when requested.
Additionally, there are cautions to be aware of when choosing to purchase supplements from drug or retail stores. In 2015, the New York Attorney General sent cease and desist letters to GNC, Walgreens, Target, and Walmart after conducting an investigation into three of the herbal supplements sold on all of their shelves, and finding no trace of what was listed on the label, as well as many undisclosed ingredients including wheat in supposedly gluten-free products. Beyond just being a waste of money, these supplements provide no clinical benefit, and could also be potentially harmful due to the presence of allergens and ingredients such as house plant added as filler.
You can read news coverage of the findings here:
The same was true of over-the-counter and compounded vitamin D3 in an April 2013 report by JAMA Internal Medicine. They found that potency was “highly variable” and ranged from 9% to 146%.
In an unregulated industry, it is incredibly important to do your research when selecting supplements.