Seeking out a product with the lowest price can be a bad move when it comes to nutritional supplements - you don't want to compromise on quality. Paul Finder, president of Best Life Pharmanaturals, says customers should instead search for goods that comply with current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations.
Paul Finder: Best Life Pharmanaturals was incorporated in 1999 as a contract packaging company to service the dietary supplement industry. Focusing on high-quality liquid and solid-dose packaging with a quick turnaround, Best Life found a solid footing right away. Through the years, more and more happy packaging customers were asking Best Life to expand into the solid dose and liquid manufacturing business.
In 2009, the government began more rigorous enforcement of the DSHEA Act, which held dietary supplement manufacturers to a higher standard. As many were unable to meet the more stringent standards, other companies started to go out of business. Best Life saw that as an opportunity to once again enter the manufacturing field.
Beginning with just a few machines to build capsules, tablets and short-run liquids, Best Life saw its business begin to grow rapidly. Within a short period of time, the company grew into a 40,000ft2, FDA-registered and cGMP-NSF-certified facility.
Best Life specialises in capsules, tablets, powders and liquids. The company is becoming a one-stop shop for its dietary supplement customers. The facility includes high-speed encapsulation and tablet presses, multiple powder-blending and packaging options, fully automated liquid capabilities, complete on-site testing laboratory capabilities and fully automated packaging facilities.
Each customer is assigned a personal sales representative and a customer support representative that follows the manufacture of the customer's product from purchase order to delivery. The customer receives weekly updated information on the manufacturing progress and can reach a person any time they have a question.
Best Life also offers personalised R&D for new product creation. Producing great chewable and drink products is equal parts science and art. The customer has the opportunity to be involved in the flavouring art of their product.
We see education as the biggest issue, not only for us as a business, but for our customers as well. Often, customers are looking for the lowest price, which is a dangerous way of thinking; they should instead be looking for competitive prices within cGMP facilities.
Typically, customers do not know what is required to manufacturer their products. As a manufacturer, we need to help educate them on the requirements of cGMP manufacturing, the testing involved, and the cost associated with all the testing and quality measures.
We find, once we explain the cGMP requirements and its additional costs to the product, they are more than willing to discuss the quality of the product and the competitive prices associated with it. We, as their manufacturer, need to always receive education on regulations and guidelines to help our customers avoid possible pitfalls.
The dietary supplement industry is guided by the FDA's Rule 21 CFR part 111, among others. This final rule establishes some baseline guidelines to ensure not only product safety but also quality.
For example, a company must identify material before it can be released into production. It is our understanding that FTIR and NIR spectroscopy techniques are not sufficient to satisfactorily identify most, or possibly any, herbal materials. So Best Life uses HPTLC to identify herbal materials, along with other validated tests. Additionally, every incoming material must be assayed for purity and tested for microbiological amounts - and all this is just to see if materials can be used in a formulation; there are many other tests that are required under CFR 111. It covers testing from the purchasing of materials right through to the final testing of the finished product before it can be shipped.
With welcomed and continued growth, Best Life is currently designing a new 65,000ft2 state-of-the-art facility. We are anticipating changes in the current regulations of CFR 111 with our new building and incorporating them into the design process. This way, Best Life will remain ahead of the curve with potential new regulations.