Mark Land, AAHP President
I think it is safe to say Americans remained tentative in many areas of everyday life in 2022. Things like travel, business conventions, and entertainment events are slowly returning, but there is just enough hesitation to say we are not yet completely returned to “normal.” One thing in full swing is heightened awareness and value of many OTC and self-care products, including homeopathic medicines, as consumers endeavored to shake-off common treatable conditions and keep their immune systems high. While maintaining access to homeopathic OTCs during this time is important, more so is the importance of ensuring the quality and safety of our products to consumers and healthcare providers. This remains AAHP’s top priority, as well as protecting the regulatory and retail environment for manufacturers, as shown through our 2022 highlights and new industry resources below.
Strengthening Relations with Regulators: During the seven years of regulatory review of homeopathic products, AAHP has made every effort to ensure a favorable regulatory climate for our products while maintaining public safety. As the temperature subsides, the association’s focus has shifted to building compliance and building a relationship with FDA by working on regulatory and technical ambiguity in the manufacturing process. We are pleased to report Homeopathic Pharmacopeia Convention of the United States (HPCUS) received meaningful comments from FDA on both its white papers: Starting Material white paper and the Hahnemannian Liquid Homeopathic Attenuations: Process Validation. Watch for updates at the next AAHP Summit in 2023.
Educating Legislators: AAHP continually educates a rotation of Congressional staff. Our program was reactivated in 2022 after COVID-19 closed off Capitol Hill. With a Congressional position paper and a targeted list of 60 Congressional offices, AAHP met virtually with health staff in the offices of Senators Marsha Blackburn, Mike Braun, Joni Ernst, Roger Marshall, Tim Scott, and Tommy Tuberville. We also met with offices of Representatives Jason Crow, Bob Latta, Debbie Lesko, and John Curtis — and met directly with Rep. Curtis. We thank those AAHP members who added much value to these meetings by participating as local constituents.
Stimulating Retailer Relations: For the fourth year, manufacturing sales executives connected with retail buyers at the AAHP Industry Reception. H-E-B was presented with this year’s Integrative Retailer Medicine Award. Staff from H-E-B, Rite Aid, and Wegmans attended and mingled with AAHP members at this intimate, small-scale event, courtesy of our sponsor The Emerson Group.
AAHP also continues to give regulatory briefings to major retailers on topics from FDA’s guidance to the agency’s consumer advice on age limits for children’s cough and cold products. Additionally, AAHP provides ongoing support of retailer litigation defense.
Education and Networking Events
- AAHP Annual Executive Briefing with updates from Litigation Attorney Christina Sarchio (March 18)
- AAHP Annual Membership Meeting with updates from Legal Counsel Al Lorman and Lobbyist Pete Evich (March 23)
- HPUS Updates webinar by Eric Foxman (June 10)
- AAHP Industry Reception with H-E-B’s Mike Schaeffer and FCI’s Troy Beeler (Sept. 29)
- AAHP Semi-Annual Membership Meeting (Oct. 13)
- Special Meeting on FDA Homeopathic Guidance for Members Only (Dec. 12)
Newsletter Articles: Members had full access to 53 new articles on regulatory issues, compliance, and manufacturing best practices. Here are the most popular 2022 articles accessible to members and non-members alike:
- Grocer H-E-B Cultivates the Natural Product Shopper: AAHP Gives Top Honor
- Pharmacy Spotlight: Don Summerfield of Medly Pharmacy
- The AAHP Industry Reception: An Evening of Extraordinary Networking
- FDA Warning Letters for Skin Tag and Mole Removal OTCs
- AAHP Submits Comments and Briefs Industry on New FDA Requirements
- Regulatory Status of Homeopathy in the EU & UK: What’s Happened Since Brexit?
- A Global Perspective on Effectiveness Standards for Homeopathic Medicinal Products: Is There a “Third Way”?
- What Is the Future of Retail?
- The Regulation of Homeopathic Medicines in 2022
- AAHP Disclaimer Helps Win Two Lawsuits
Breaking News Alerts to Members
- FDA Requires Reporting Amount of Listed Drugs and Biological Products (Jan. 31)
- FDA’s 2/15/22 Reporting Date is Not a Requirement (Feb. 16)
- FDA “Consumer Update” on Cough/Cold Products for Children under the age of 4. (March 9)
- AAHP responds to recent attacks on research credibility (March 25)
- FDA sends its draft guidance on homeopathic medicines to the White House’s OMB to finalize. (Nov. 18)
- FDA Finalizes Homeopathic Guidance (Dec. 8)
Social Media: AAHP also alerts the homeopathic community at large to hot-button issues through Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. All three platforms have grown in 2022 — particularly Facebook, nearing 6,000 followers. AAHP also started highlighting member companies’ blogs through our platforms.
Website: AAHP refreshed its website in 2022 with improved imagery and navigation based on learnings from click-through analysis. AAHP website receives more than 8,000 unique viewers monthly. Members are encouraged to update their company profiles.
Organizational Developments: AAHP welcomed new member Nartex Labs and continues to orient new leaders at several member companies. Robert Melo of OHM Pharma joined the Board of Directors. Denise Eaton of Nelsons has taken a pause as Chair of the Business Development Committee. On behalf of the Association, I would like to acknowledge and thank Denise for all her hard work and accomplishments over the years.
Thank You for Another Successful Year: Our invitation remains open to current and potential members and allied associations as one-time guests at committee meetings. AAHP is increasingly exchanging information with the homeopathic community at large and responding to questions via its social media platforms.
In 2023, AAHP will celebrate its centennial year! I’d like to thank the volunteers from several companies and industry consultants who gave many hours toward organizing events, openly sharing priority information, and attending board and committee meetings to improve our industry for the benefit of everyone. We could not have made it to our AAHP’s 100th anniversary without your support.