Cosmetic products are not required to undergo the extensive testing described for drug products, and the regulations governing their labeling, manufacturing, and distribution are much more relaxed . The FDA cannot require cosmetic manufacturers to disclose information about their manufacturing plants, register their products, document information about the ingredients used in their products, track and report adverse reactions to their products, or test their products for safety and efficacy. The FDA, however, keeps track of adverse reaction information it receives from consumers, hospitals, physician surveys, and manufacturers that voluntarily report such data. It keeps a database that is searchable by product brand name, manufacturer, product type, associated injuries, and formulation number (when the manufacturer voluntarily registers a formula).
Upon noting the differences in regulatory requirements between drug and cosmetic products, it becomes obvious that it is substantially less time-consuming and costly to introduce a new cosmetic into the marketplace than a prescription or OTC drug. To maintain some consistency within the cosmetic and toiletry industry, the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association (CTFA) was created to work with and on behalf of the cosmetic manufacturers. Some of its functions include acting as a liaison between manufacturers and the FDA, helping to propose and secure the adoption of industry standards, proposing simplified cosmetic ingredient labeling names, reviewing ingredient safety and toxicity data, and aiding manufacturers in meeting FDA label requirements.
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