Guidance for Consumers
From 19 October 2009, any company that has registered a product under the Traditional Herbal Registration (THR) scheme can apply to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for permission to use the THR Certification Mark with that product.
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What is a Certification Mark?
A Certification Mark is a specific type of trade mark. It provides a guarantee that the goods bearing the mark meet certain defined standards or possess particular characteristics as defined by the owner of the mark.
Who owns the THR Certification Mark?
The THR Certification Mark is owned by the MHRA. As the owner of the Mark, the MHRA can give permission to companies to use the certification mark on products registered under the Traditional Herbal Registration Scheme.
What does the THR Certification Mark mean?
Where a herbal medicine carries the Certification Mark this means that the MHRA has assessed the product to ensure that is acceptably safe when used as intended, is manufactured to the quality standards we set, and is accompanied by reliable and accurate product information for the public and patients. The authorised usage and dosage of the medicine is based on evidence of its traditional use. The effectiveness of the product has not been assessed by the MHRA.
Will all products registered under the THR scheme have to use the Certification Mark?
No. Use of the THR Certification Mark is not compulsory. Companies can choose whether to include the THR Certification Mark on their registered products; however, the MHRA recommends its use so that it is easier for consumers to identify herbal medicines registered under the THR scheme.
How can I tell if the THR Certification Mark displayed has really been authorised by the MHRA?
There are specific rules about the way the THR Certification Mark can be used. These include:
- The leaf symbol, text and border (if there is one) can only be displayed once on the packaging and the patient information leaflet,
- It must always be black and the words ‘Certification Mark’ must appear next to it.
In addition, all products registered under the THR Scheme will always have a registration number starting with the letters THR, e.g. THR 123 456 780, somewhere on the product container or other packaging. Any use of the THR Certification Mark that breaks these rules may not be authorised, so please let us know.
You can also find information about products that have been registered under the scheme on the MHRA webpage Public Assessment Reports for herbal medicines.
I want to complain about inappropriate use of the THR Certification Mark; what do I do?
Complaints about inappropriate use of the THR Certification Mark may be made in writing to the MHRA, enclosing where possible a copy of the advertisement or promotional material. These should be sent to:
MHRA Herbal Policy Unit
1 Nine Elms Lane
London SW8 5NQ
or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
(content provided by Herbal Policy Unit MHRA)