Elkridge, MD asked in Products Liability for Maryland

Q: My question is, "Which is it? A "dietary supplement" or a "drug"?

I'm in a quandary. A long time ago it was pounded into my head that dietary supplements were not controlled by the FDA and therefore did not require a prescription. Now Aetna has taken roughly 10% of its formulary and declared them over-the-counter, yet they are not available over-the-counter. I also see prescription drugs being billed as "dietary supplements" (example included below with sources).

My question is, "Which is it? A "dietary supplement" or a "drug"?


(Is it legal to market a dietary supplement product as a treatment or cure for a specific disease or condition?)

vs ...


Which is right?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Adam Studnicki
Adam Studnicki
  • Products Liability Lawyer
  • Phoenix, AZ

A: Probably depends on the specific substance.

Please Take Notice: I am not your lawyer unless we enter into an engagement agreement in writing. This is only general information. It is NOT legal advice, and it may not work for your specific situation. It is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the relevant facts and documents. I strongly encourage you to consult with a local lawyer to get legal advice and help with your specific situation at your earliest convenience. I am licensed to practice law in Arizona.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.