The AAHP community recently came together for a Semiannual Membership Meeting on Sept. 14, 2018 in Baltimore. Not only did members network and discuss best practices, they also heard the latest from association leadership and industry experts.

AAHP president Mark Land opened the meeting by describing the association as a thriving, influential advocate for health care through homeopathic medicines. Considering AAHP’s year-to-date accomplishments, that sentiment rings true. Land described some of AAHP’s activities, such as:

  • Providing industry thought-leadership in terms of FDA guidance messaging;
  • Giving five presentations in 90 days to the homeopathic community regarding FDA guidance implications;
  • Facilitating a grass roots campaign that resulted in 38,000 letters to Capitol Hill;
  • Conducting 61 legislative meetings in four months;
  • Submitting two legislative letters to FDA that contained 15 signatures from members of Congress;
  • Submitting written comments to FDA;
  • Conducting three webinars reaching hundreds in 40 companies;
  • Rolling out a new website, TheAAHP.org;
  • Carrying out strategic planning to increase momentum leading up to AAHP’s centenary in 2023;
  • Publishing 38 articles of interest to members;
  • Rebranding the association: The Voice of the Homeopathic Community; and
  • Welcoming two new members: Tec Laboratories and RxHomeo.

Jeremy Kees, PhD, Professor of Marketing & Business Law at Villanova University, gave the meeting’s keynote presentation. AAHP recently hired Kees to design and conduct consumer comprehension studies for a number of advertising and label disclaimers. Kees tested 13 variations of AAHP’s disclaimer on 1,100+ respondents nationwide. (The final disclaimer is: Claims based on traditional homeopathic practices, not accepted medical evidence. Not FDA evaluated.)

While we have covered the disclaimer project in the past, Kees offered some new insights at the meeting, specifically around consumer comprehension and disclaimer efficacy. Kees shared the results of the portion of the study in which respondents were asked how well they understood the disclaimer after seeing it on a product mockup:

  • 95.7% of respondents reported that the product was not evaluated by the FDA.
  • 82.6% of respondents reported that the product claim was not based on scientific evidence.
  • 71.7% of respondents reported that the product claim was not accepted by most modern medical experts.

These statistics are significant versus a control condition with no disclaimer. That means we have good statistical support that consumers understand the disclaimer—and that gives those companies who use it some protection against FTC scrutiny.

The meeting also included a networking breakfast as well as updates from the Legal and Regulatory Committee, the Education Committee, the Communications and Public Relations Committee, and the Business Development Committee.

AAHP’s next Semiannual Membership Meeting will take place this March in Anaheim, California, just blocks away from Natural Products Expo West. Check TheAAHP.org/events for details as they become available.