Dr. Mark Hyman’s Work in Longevity and Anti-Aging
Dr. Mark Hyman, a renowned physician and ...
As the hormone replacement and prescription peptide space grows, I’ve become increasingly frustrated with “bad actors.” Namely, the black-market suppliers that don’t go through the correct regulatory process, don’t write prescriptions and have no medical oversight.
While I would rather be spending my time and energy elsewhere, I feel a strong obligation to protect patients and ensure the entire industry doesn’t get a bad rap. When we allow bad actors to become a part of any vacuum in healthcare, we all suffer. The best-case scenario may be that a product doesn’t offer any relief and the patient simply wasted their money, but it gets worse fast when a good product gets restricted and maybe only allowed through big-pharma or worse yet, banned from use entirely. In many cases, life-changing treatments then become unaffordable or inaccessible with these criteria decided by large insurance companies. Currently, we are seeing bad actors fail third-party product testing with lack of purity, infections, improper dosing guidelines, and short-term or long-term health risks.
From ortho and neuro spine devices to pain management, and regenerative medicine; I’ve seen this same story play out time and time again in my fourteen-year career in healthcare. I worry that this industry is on the same disruptive cusp for prescription peptide therapy and hormone replacement. I will not waiver on my belief that all hormone replacement and peptide therapies should be under medical supervision and come from legitimate and reliable sources. I outline the important differences below.
Peptides that are compounded through compounding pharmacies must follow USP <795> and USP <797> guidelines. These guidelines help maintain quality healthcare standards and processes. These standards help protect the patient from receiving harmful or improperly made compounded preparations. Compounding Pharmacies are also under the supervision of the Board of Pharmacy specific to their state. Between USP guidelines and the Board of Pharmacy regulations, stringent requirements are placed on compounding pharmacies to protect the end-user patient on receiving quality medication. To provide a peptide to a patient through a pharmacy a receipt of valid prescriptions by a licensed physician is required.
There are very few requirements for online suppliers to sell peptides or other supplements online. There is no regulatory body in place to assure the safety, composition, ingredients, and dosage form of the peptides being purchased. There is no requirement for a doctor’s prescription in order for individuals to legally purchase peptides online. There is no regulation or requirement in place to verify the suppliers are using pharmaceutical-grade ingredients.
Many online suppliers also:
Another concern with online suppliers is the fact that they may be located and operate outside the United States. Therefore, the FDA and other governing bodies can’t regulate the production of peptides or other supplements sold online through these black markets.
Purchasing through a licensed, US-based compounding pharmacy, with medical supervision is the superior alternative for various reasons:
For these reasons, compounding pharmacies under medical supervision are a better and safer choice. Additionally, compounding pharmacies can customize ingredients or dosage forms, in a way that online suppliers can’t. It is also important to be familiar with what regulations are in place that keeps patient safety in mind. If given a choice, compounding pharmacies are the superior avenue. They are a little higher priced than online suppliers but the quality of the ingredients being used, regulations followed, medical supervision to accompany, and testing performed to produce a quality preparation offsets the increased cost.
Thank you to all who contributed to this article as we continue to
ensure the safety of our patients and the longevity of this amazing field.
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