The potential for a government shutdown is looming large. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are two entities that could be impacted if it happens. As a leader of the dietary supplement company, it is important to know what this shutdown could mean for the industry. Briefly, here are the top 5 ways you may be impacted in the coming weeks or months:
Delays in FDA’s Dietary Supplement Program
The FDA’s dietary supplement program is an essential part of regulating dietary supplements, including ensuring product safety and efficacy. The shutdown could have impacts on this program, delaying critical processes such as product labeling and import operations. A slowdown in the process also means that new and pending products will likely be stuck in limbo pending governmental approvals. Moreover, inspections of facilities might be on hold, which could lead to a disrupted supply chain. These actions could all impact the delivery of dietary supplements to the US market.
Impact on the FTC
The FTC is another critical agency for dietary supplement companies. Their role has been essential in enforcing laws related to product labeling, advertising, and ensuring that dietary supplements are marketed accurately. However, if the impending shutdown occurs, the FTC will only keep on a handful of essential employees, resulting in fewer resources for enforcing compliance. This could leave some dietary supplement manufacturers and marketers to remain uncooperative or in violation of current regulations.
Reduced Guidance from both agencies and…
The ongoing shutdown will result in reduced guidance from both agencies concerning issues related to regulatory compliance. Such a move might lead to confusion among dietary supplement companies. Without proper guidance, companies may fail to identify potential compliance risks before they become issues that could be harmful to their business’s credibility. Also, it’s not JUST the FTC and the FDA that the industry relies on. As consumers and industry increasingly commit to the use of certified organic ingredients, the USDA National Organic Program will also be affected. Industry support needs such as standard clarifications, audits, meetings, and non-compliance mitigation could also be delayed.
A downturn in the dietary supplement industry?
A government shutdown can cause uncertainty in general to businesses and markets and increase the industry burn rate. It makes it difficult for companies in the dietary supplement industry to access credit and keep up with current and expected regulations. This slowdown could cause business owners to reduce their investment or pullback on expansion plans, mainly because they cannot predict future sales and profits.
The long-term implications of the government shutdown on the dietary supplement industry are, at this time, still unclear. However, a prolonged shutdown puts a strain on the industry’s economy and most especially for smaller companies. They may not have the financial buffer to counter the risks that could come up if the shutdown lasts more than what might be expected. Clients may also ultimately lose confidence in businesses that can’t deliver due to the government’s uncertain regulatory landscape.
In conclusion, the impact of the government shutdown will be vast, more so for the dietary supplement industry. There will be disruptions in the FDA and FTC’s ability to respond to issues and provide guidance on regulations. The long-term implications highlight the importance of healthier communication and collaboration between industry insiders and the government agencies responsible for regulating the industry. While waiting, companies in the industry should remain diligent in their compliance, review their financial planning closely and define risk mitigation strategies, among other steps, until the potential impacts of the impending shutdown are better understood. Remember, the implications of the shutdown have far reaching ramifications.
Given that we are in the height of the tradeshow season, as you are traveling for business and undoubtedly experiencing longer than average security lines, channel empathy, compassion, kindness, and patience. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are considered essential and therefore they will be required to report to work, they just won’t be getting compensated during the shutdown. Make sure to play your role in helping all of us fly the friendly skies.