Department of Health and Human Services' logo Department of Health and Human Services

Public Health Service
Food and Drug Administration


5100 Paint Branch Pkwy
College Park, MD 20740-3835

February 3, 2005

Mushtaq Jafry
Herbs MD
21712 Hawthorne Blvd, Ste 276
Torrance, CA 90503

Ref. No. CL-04-HFS-810-135

Dear Mr Jafry:

This is to advise you that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reviewed your web site at the Internet address and has determined that the products "ArthPlus," "Allergium," "Asafetida (Oleo-Gum-Resin)," "Broncitone," and "Astragalus" are promoted for conditions that cause the products to be drugs under section 201(g)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act) [21 USC 321(g)(1)]. The therapeutic claims on your web site establish that the products are drugs because they are intended for use in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease. The marketing of these products with these claims violates the Act.

Examples of some of the claims observed on your web site include:


"ArthPlus is an herbal combination to relieve pain and inflammation due to arthritis and rheumatism."


"Use — Hayfever — Seasonal Allergies"

Asafetida (Oleo-Gum-Resin)

"Asafoetida Extract has been used traditionally to … treat … bronchitis, asthma and to lower blood pressure …"


"Broncitone is an herbal combination that offers support for bronchitis and respitory [sic] ailments such as pneumonia, asthma, bronchitis, colds, flu, hayfever, lung congestion and coughs."


"Uses: … protective of immune cells during chemo or radiation treatments; prevent or moderate colds and flu … Anemia…"

In addition, under "Ailments," your web site instructs customers to "[b]rowse herbal and nutritional supplements arranged by category name" and "[l]earn about … natural cures." We note that your web site offers products for the several "ailments," most of which are considered diseases and cause the products to be drugs under section 201(g)(1) of the Act, including AIDS (HIV) Support, Asthma, Attention Deficit Disorder, Alzheimer's Disease, Allergies, Arthritis, Bladder infection, Brain Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Common Cold, Crohn's Disease, Diabetes, Depression, Flu, Erectile Dysfunction, High Cholesterol, Hypertension, Kidney Cancer, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Leprosy, Osteoporosis, Parkinson's Disease, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and Urinary Tract Infection, among others.

Furthermore, your products are not generally recognized as safe and effective for the above referenced conditions and therefore, these products are also "new drugs" under section 201(p) of the Act [21 USC 321(p)]. New drugs may not be legally marketed in the US without prior approval from FDA as described in section 505(a) of the Act [21 USC 355(a)]. FDA approves a new drug on the basis of scientific data submitted by a drug sponsor to demonstrate that the drug is safe and effective.

FDA is aware that Internet distributors may not know that the products they offer are regulated as drugs or that these drugs are not in compliance with the law. Many of these products may be legally marketed as dietary supplements if claims about diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention are removed from the promotional materials and the products otherwise comply with all applicable provisions of the Act and FDA regulations.

Under the Act, as amended by the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, dietary supplements may be legally marketed with truthful and non-misleading claims to affect the structure or function of the body (structure/function claims), if certain requirements are met. However, claims that dietary supplements are intended to prevent, diagnose, mitigate, treat, or cure disease (disease claims), excepting health claims authorized for use by FDA, cause the products to be drugs. The intended use of a product may be established through product labels and labeling, catalogs, brochures, audio and videotapes, Internet sites, or other circumstances surrounding the distribution of the product. FDA has published a final rule intended to clarify the distinction between structure/function claims and disease claims. This document is available on the Internet at (codified at 21 CFR 101.93(g)).

In addition, only products that are intended for ingestion may be lawfully marketed as dietary supplements. Topical products and products intended to enter the body directly through the skin or mucosal tissues, such as transdermal or sublingual products, are not dietary supplements. For these products, both disease and structure/function claims may cause them to be new drugs.

Certain over-the-counter drugs are not new drugs and may be legally marketed without prior approval from FDA. Additional information is available in Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations (21 CFR) Parts 310 and 330-358, which contain FDA's regulations on over-the-counter drugs.

This letter is not intended to be an all-inclusive review of your web site and products your firm markets. It is your responsibility to ensure that all products marketed by your firm comply with the Act and its implementing regulations.

If you need additional information or have questions concerning any products distributed through your web site, please contact FDA. You may respond in writing to Linda J. Webb, Compliance Officer, Food and Drug Administration, Division of Dietary Supplement Programs, 5100 Paint Branch Pkwy, College Park, MD 20740-3835. If you have any questions concerning this letter, please contact Ms Webb at 301-436-2375.

Sincerely yours,
Susan J. Walker, MD
Division of Dietary Supplement Programs
Office of Nutritional Products, Labeling and Dietary Supplements
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

This page was revised on October 5, 2005.

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