From the 1st May 2011, all traditional herbal medicinal products are required by law to be registered by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) under the new Traditional Herbal Registration Scheme. After this date, further manufacturing of unlicensed herbal medicinal products is prohibited.
The legislation was needed because many herbal products on the UK market were not subject to independent quality and safety checks. Their quality was unknown, and there was no guarantee that they contained the ingredients claimed, and nothing else. The new Traditional Herbal Registration Scheme provides reassurance to consumers and healthcare professionals that products assessed by the MHRA meet the required standard of safety and quality. The legislation also provides access to reliable patient information. The THR number on product packaging shows that a product has met the MHRA’s agreed level of safety and quality, and the on-pack consumer information is MHRA approved. It is worth noting that any herbal product that isn’t classed as a food and doesn’t show the THR number is either being sold illegally or is ‘end of line’ stock.