The global spotlight shone on South Africa when the Health Products Association of Southern Africa (HPA) was awarded the International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplements Associations (IADSA) Grant 2019, as announced on 10 April at IADSA’s Annual Week in Sydney, Australia.

The prestigious grant is awarded to the association that IADSA deems has made a positive and noteworthy contribution to the dietary supplements industry worldwide: IADSA’s 64 member-countries are annually invited to participate.

The HPA project submission for the IADSA Grant – “HEALTH SUPPLEMENTS DOWN- SCHEDULING AND EXPANDING ON SUBSTANCES” – was prepared by HPA Associate, Janet Welham of Saige Business Consulting, a long-term member of the South African industry.

Criteria for winning included that the project be replicable in other countries or regions, serve as an example of a best practice, have the potential to create change and make progress, and be fully achievable given the right resources and inputs.

The HPA has to date successfully initiated:
• the down-scheduling of Silimarin (Milk Thistle)[S0]
• the introduction of probiotics as health supplements [S0]
• the down-scheduling of Methionine – 210mg limit [S0]
• the down-scheduling of 5HTP – less than 220mg with health supplement claims [S0]

The application to down-schedule these substances was presented to the South African Department of Health, which approved and actioned the appeal.
“The HPA’s ambition is to target further substances on the current schedule list and motivate for their down-scheduling, as well as to motivate that further substances be included in the current Schedule 0 health supplement list,” says Welham.

HPA Chairperson, Maria Ascencao, enthusiastically thanked IADSA on behalf of the HPA’s 120 member companies and everyone in South Africa involved in the health products industry. “Thank you for this incredible grant about which we are absolutely thrilled. It’s going to make all the difference to us in fast-tracking a listing system that will help us self-regulate and showcase how easy it is to list a health product or complementary medicine in South Africa…it will empower us on the journey to engaging comprehensively and successfully with our regulators.”

IADSA – of which the HPA is a Founding Member – was created in 1998 to meet the increasing need for expertise, knowledge and experience on issues relating to supplements. Today, it is the global platform to guide the evolution of policy and regulation in the sector, and has partnerships in countries and regions where supplement regulation and policy is being developed, modified or harmonised. A central role of IADSA is to ensure the creation of a strong network of national and regional associations across the world that are able to work with their governments and scientific communities. Member associations of IADSA are present on all continents.


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