Supplement or medicine? A legal fine line

07 January 2004

New European legislation on pharmaceuticals could override the recently adopted food supplements directive and impact the future of the supplements industry, according to legal experts.

The pharmaceuticals directive (amending Directive 2001/83/EC), which reached a second reading by the European Parliament on 17 December last year, failed to include a number of amendments supported by industry associations that would have reduced the potential of medicines legislation to govern supplements.

The pharmaceuticals directive contains a definition of a medicinal product (as a substance that