Welcome to the BHMA Herbal Practitioners Suppliers Section (HPSS)
The supply of goods to herbal practitioners is probably the least regulated of all the herbal sectors; even the legal status of the goods being supplied is poorly defined and vulnerable. Since the government has rejected statutory regulation of herbal practitioners, it is important to address potential issues with quality and safety within the herbal practitioner and supplier sector.
There is a need for the whole sector to work together to provide a service that both professionals and the public can trust. The BHMA, with its well-established links to independent academia and health professions remains the best platform from which the herbal practitioner supplier sector can organise, grow and develop.
This has led to the BHMA setting up the Herbal Practitioners Suppliers Section (HPSS) to bring together a large number of the UK practitioner herbal suppliers from the Western, Chinese and Ayurvedic herbal medicine traditions for the first time. At the current time, the following organisations are members of the HPSS:
The role of the HPSS is to help these practitioner suppliers to maintain quality standards within the sector by the adoption of our common Quality Management System, the Good Herbal Manufacture and Supply Standard (GHMSS). The GHMSS was developed by the BHMA Board and provides a common standard of independently audited good manufacturing practice. Such a system ensures that practitioners receive good quality products, thus continuing to ensure patient safety.
The HPSS also leads on practitioner education, as practitioner awareness of quality issues will be the main driver of future sector growth. However, at the current time many herbal practitioners are not able to easily assess the quality criteria of the remedies they dispense. The continued education of practitioners in areas such as pharmacognosy and analysis is therefore deemed essential to drive quality in the sector.
Towards this end the HPSS is working with practitioner Professional Associations (PAs) and academia to set up suitable revision and education courses. In the absence of the assurance gained from statutory regulation, it is essential that practitioner PAs work with their members, supporting their use of products from approved suppliers.
Now the initial GHMSS document has been set up and online assessments have been completed for the majority of companies, the use of the BHMA HerbMark has been approved for use by Organic Herb Trading, Phoenix Medical, Su Wen Herbs, Herbprime Co. Ltd, Panacea Health, Balance Healthcare, Integria Healthcare (MediHerb) and Herbal Apothecary.
For more information about the HerbMark and the advantages of its use, please see this press release from the BHMA and our HPSS members: HerbMark Press Release
If you are interested in becoming a member of the HPSS and would like to join the BHMA, please contact Roberta Hutchins by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you details on how to join.