CVS Pharmacy launches ‘Tested to Be Trusted’ program, intros 300 health-and-wellness items

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CVS Pharmacy launches ‘Tested to Be Trusted’ program, intros 300 health-and-wellness items

By Sandra Levy - 05/15/2019
CVS Pharmacy is undertaking a big effort to vet the ingredients of vitamin and supplement products in its stores. The company on Wednesday launched “Tested to Be Trusted,” a program requiring third-party testing of all vitamins and supplements sold in-store and online to confirm the accuracy of the dietary ingredients listed on the supplement facts panel and to confirm products are free from certain additives and ingredients.

Some 1,400 vitamins and supplements from 152 brands across 11 categories, including diet and nutrition, pain and digestive, have completed testing, the retailer said.

The expanded assortment and new vitamin and supplement testing standards are the latest evolution in CVS Pharmacy's commitment to being a trusted partner in health and holistic wellness, and are the focus of a new campaign dedicated to the importance of self-care. CVS Pharmacy is the first and only national retailer to implement a program that requires this caliber of standards for vitamins and supplements, the company said.

"CVS Pharmacy's requirement of third-party testing of all vitamins and supplements uniquely positions us as a trusted retailer and health partner where consumers can shop for proactive wellness solutions with confidence," said Kevin Hourican, CVS Pharmacy president and CVS Health executive vice president. "We are seeing more customers focus on self-care as part of their overall health, and CVS is committed to providing access to new products and categories to empower people to practice self-care in their daily lives, especially since self-care varies based on an individual's needs."

CVS Pharmacy's new self-care campaign features advertising centered around the Tested to be Trusted program and other health-focused efforts the company has made, including removing tobacco from its stores, removing sunscreens with an SPF lower than 15 from stores, reformulating nearly 600 store-brand beauty and personal care products to remove potentially harmful ingredients and the rollout of its CVS Beauty Mark initiative.

In 2017 CVS Pharmacy announced it would require all products with a supplement panel to undergo third-party testing and verification by the end of 2019 in order to be sold in-store or on While enhanced standards were already in place for all of CVS Pharmacy's store-brand products — including the CVS Health, radiance and radiance Platinum lines — this marks the first time that all national brand vitamins and supplements carried in-store and online must receive specific and consistent third-party validation before they can be sold.

Tested to be Trusted, which the company noted was completed six months ahead of schedule, requires all products with a supplement panel at CVS Pharmacy to be certified either by NSF International, verified by the United States Pharmacopeia or participate in CVS Pharmacy's required third-party testing program conducted through NSF or Eurofins, a laboratory specializing in food, pharma and environmental testing.

This testing includes: dietary ingredient review and testing: to verify that the dietary ingredients listed on the supplement facts panel are in the product in the amount stated; and contaminant review: testing (microbiological, analytical, etc.) to verify there are no harmful levels of certain specified contaminants in the product.

"By requiring third-party testing of the vitamins and supplements they sell, CVS Pharmacy is demonstrating a real commitment to trust, transparency and health," David Trosin, NSF International interim general manager of dietary supplements said, adding, "The Tested to be Trusted program is unprecedented in the retail industry and we're proud to serve CVS and its customers."

Throughout the course of the testing, 7% of products failed, resulting in either an update to the supplement facts panel or removal of the product from CVS Pharmacy shelves, the company said.

CVS Pharmacy also is introducing more than 300 new items in six new health-and-wellness categories, with an emphasis on cognitive, nutrition, mood and sleep therapies. The new product assortment, which includes collagen protein, essential oils and aromatherapy stress spray, bone broth protein, beetroot powder, weighted blankets, yoga mats, free weights, bee pollen and honey immunity products will be available in more than 3,000 stores and on by the middle of 2019.

CVS Pharmacy's year-long "Treat Yourself Well" campaign, which is designed to empower consumers to make self-care a part of their daily routine, includes TV commercials, digital advertising, social media content across Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, in-store "healthy-hour" events to educate consumers on new trends and brands, and in-store signage.

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