More and more research is showing the potential of this nutrient to treat cancer and a variety of other conditions. So why is the FDA targeting it?
The FDA is rapidly eliminating many of the substances that can be made at compounding pharmacies, which make customized medicines for individual patients. The agency has been banning ingredients outright, as well as using prohibitive regulations (such as banning office use and severely limiting how much pharmacies can ship interstate) to drive up the prices of intravenous nutrients so much that they will be out of reach for most patients. This is precisely what has happened to injectable vitamin B12, where the price of a 30cc vial of B12 has increased almost 700% in a decade.
Judging by the FDA’s demonstrated antipathy toward intravenous vitamin C (IV C), there is good reason to believe that the same thing could happen to this vital nutrient. In 2011, the FDA sent a warning letter to McGuff Pharmaceuticals ordering it to stop making IV C because, in the agency’s view, it was an unapproved drug. No safety concerns were cited for this action, so we suspect the real reason is that vitamin C can’t be patented and therefore can’t go through the standard FDA approval process.
At the time, we noted that even though the FDA was going after manufactured IV C, compounding pharmacies were able to step in and fill the gap in supply. The FDA’s current actions, however, jeopardize pharmacies’ ability to do so when the agency decides to go after IV C again. If it doesn’t become illegal to compound IV C, it could become so expensive through the FDA’s new regulations that it would be out of reach for most patients.
It would be tragic if consumers lost access to IV C. In the last few years, numerous studies have demonstrated the potential for IV C to fight cancer, among other conditions, including antibiotic resistant infections. Very-high-dose vitamin C interacts with metals to create hydrogen peroxide, which damages and kills cancer cells as well as harmful pathogens. Crucially, the only way to get blood levels of vitamin C to the concentrations required to have these properties is to administer it intravenously. Liposomal forms of vitamin C help, but do not get the job done.
Those interested in the most up-to-date research on IV C for oncology treatment should consider attending a symposium hosted by the University of Kansas Medical Center and ANH-USA board chair Jeanne Drisko, MD, which will offer opportunities for healthcare professionals to learn more about this vitamin.