Alban Central America



More than 8000 medicinal products, including 610 vitamins, 90 minerals, and 60 herbal remedies, were registered and licensed in Jamaica between 1975 and 2000. Of the 403 medicinal products registered in 1999, 9.5% were of herbal origin. Herbal products are a multi-million dollar industry in Jamaica.

Regulatory Situation

In 2000, the Parliament considered revisions to the Food and Drugs Act of 1964 and the Food and Drugs Regulations of 1974. The revisions were aimed at ensuring the safety, efficacy, and quality control of herbal products. In 2001, the Parliament approved the revisions, under which the following applied:

• Products are subject to approval, requirements for which are similar to, but not as elaborate as, those for pharmaceuticals. The onus is on manufacturers to substantiate quality, efficacy, and safety.

• Products containing vitamins and minerals in less than three times the recommended daily amount are classified as foods and do not require formal registration.

• Vitamins containing more than three times the recommended daily amount are classified as drugs.

• Herbal products require registration if they contain substances used for conditions that normally need medical intervention.

• Herbal products containing substances used for self-limiting conditions that do not normally require medical intervention do not require registration.

• Registered products, like drugs, require a permit for importation.

• Products that are not registered do not require a permit for importation; however, proof of quality is required annually or such other time, as deemed necessary.

The revisions define an herbal medicine as “a medicinal product consisting of a substance produced by subjecting a plant or plants to drying, crushing, or any other process or of a mixture whose sole ingredients are two or more substances so produced or of a mixture whose sole ingredients are one or more substances so produced and water or some other inert substance”. This definition is adapted from Section 132 of the United Kingdom’s Medicines-Act of 1968.

There is no chiropractic law. Chiropractors are recognized as medical practitioners but prohibited from providing physical therapy services and from using the title of “Doctor”.