The Cosmetics and Food Supplements Program Department of the Ministry of Science and Technology’s Thailand Center of Excellence for Life Sciences (Public Organization) or TCELS partnered with Naresuan University and Mahidol University to organize a seminar on Quality, Safety and Efficacy for Cosmetics and Food Supplements (QSE), which was held on January 15, 2019 at the Sky Ballroom of the Compass Skyview Hotel, Sukhumvit 24, Bangkok. The seminar brought together experts in QSE testing from the public and private sectors led by Dr. Neeranard Jinachai of Johnson and Johnson (Thailand) Limited, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Neti Waranuch, Director of Cosmetics and Natural Products Research Center (CosNat) at Naresuan University, Chaatchavan Pongboriboon, Deputy Managing Director at Khaolaor Laboratories Co., Ltd., and Mr. Amon Praduptong, Project Senior Manager at TCELS. Participants were invited to register via QR Code.
Dr. Sirasak Tepakum, Deputy CEO of TCELS, said: “As an economic driver through life sciences knowledge, our key mission is to encourage small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to understand and obtain product international standard testing. For this reason, the TCELS is collaborating with its strategic partners, namely the Cosmetics and Natural Products Research Center (CosNat) at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Center for Animal Research, Naresuan University; and the National Laboratory Animal Center, Mahidol University to develop the QSE project. This aims to create awareness among suppliers and give them a better understanding of QSE testing for cosmetics and supplements based on international practices and standards.
“In addition, the TCELS supports the suppliers in applying for QSE testing at both the pre- and post-clinical levels. Finally, they are expected to upgrade product standards in line with life sciences development and gain international recognition. This will allow suppliers to expand business to Asean and the international markets.
“The TCELS supports SMEs to conduct product testing through a financial subsidy of 70% or no more than 500,000 baht. In addition to enhancing the competitiveness of the SMEs, the project will help consumers find products with quality, safety and efficacy".
Dr. Neeranard Jinachai at Johnson and Johnson (Thailand) Limited, said: "Thailand's cosmetics industry is comparable in terms of competitiveness to the leading economies in Asean and the world. Some products, such as those concerned with hair care and oral care, have a majority market share. On the other hand, Thailand is losing competitiveness in certain areas, especially in skin care products.
“Because the cosmetics industry has an impact on the economy, it was necessary to undertake an in-depth study on the factors affecting the industry’s competitiveness. The study indicated that the key factors are production input and government support. On the plus side, Thailand's cosmetics industry has gained recognition in neighboring countries. There are immense opportunities for growth because Thailand is a major source of herbal and natural raw materials that can be used to develop cosmetics. Furthermore, Thailand has service and healthcare businesses that support the popularity of Thai cosmetics on the international stage.
“In an effort to reinforce competitiveness, the TCELS sees partnerships between the relevant public and private sectors as important. QSE is one of the key factors in developing Thailand's cosmetics business to stay competitive on the world market.”
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Neti Waranuch, Director of Cosmetics and Natural Products Research Center (CosNat) at Naresuan University, added: “Many cosmetics and supplements are available on the market today. Advertising campaigns touting the effectiveness and benefits of such products might convince consumers to use the products without having complete and accurate information.”
Dr. Neti emphasized that all parties must be aware of the necessity and importance of QSE testing of cosmetics and natural products before introducing them to the market. This was a good opportunity for the SMEs to receive financial support from the TCELS and its strategic partners in applying for QSE testing practices. This would lead to accurate information to be used in advertising the effectiveness of products and also would enhance the confidence of the suppliers.
“The CosNat at Naresuan University is one of TCELS' strategic partners in providing academic services in effective testing of cosmetics and natural products, either food or drugs, through both Clinical and Lab Tests. The center has successfully upgraded the Lab Test to meet international standards based on the International Conference on Harmonization (ICH) and Good Clinical Practice (GCP). The center has physicians, researchers, statisticians, testing rooms, scientific instruments as well as a strong Ethics in Human Research Committee. Manufacturers interested in the product standard test are required to prepare product information including general characteristics, pictures, ingredients and Thailand's FDA registration certificates. The manufacturers can ask for consultancy or information at the center, by calling 0550 968 801, emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting www.costnat.nu.ac.th,” Dr. Neti concluded.