One visit to your pharmacy is all it takes to be totally confused by the wide selection of so-called Nutraceuticals, which are dietary supplements for the treatment of arthritis. These dietary supplements have become extremely popular in the last one or two years. However, no government agency requires manufacturers to analyze their products regarding purity, label strength, and batch-to-batch uniformity.
The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy analyzed a number of dietary supplements and the label claims varied greatly. The only product which has thus far substantiated their claims with placebo controlled double blind studies and provided proof that their products contain the same ingredients in the same amounts as listed on the label is CosaminDS, Nutramax Laboratories.
Because we have no economic interest in which product patients buy, we feel that we can be very objective. In no sense are we denigrating any other product that a patient may wish to take. They, however, need to be aware that there are differences in products regarding batch-to-batch uniformity, purity, and amount contained in the particular tablet.
CosaminDS is definitely more expensive than the other products. One national retailer is selling CosaminDS, 90 capsules, for $60.00. This, of course, may vary from one pharmacy to another.
By way of comparison, the Rite Aid dietary supplement containing Glucosamine and Chondroitin sells for $16.00 for 60 capsules.
Because these products are dietary supplements and not actually pharmaceuticals, they are not subjected by the FDA to the same testing that pharmaceuticals are. Therefore, it is certainly possible that there would be some variation from one product to another. If one wants to be absolutely sure of what they are getting in their dietary supplement used for treatment of osteoarthritis, at this point in time they would need to take CosaminDS for the usual recommended duration of eight weeks. In doing so, one would have the knowledge that they had taken the supplement which has been subjected to the greatest degree of scrutiny and research by the manufacturer as well as other institutions.