Maximizing Healthy Nutrition
Marilyn Chambliss McElroy, associate product manager for Nutramax Laboratories, Inc., discusses why the company’s commitment to research and quality sets it apart from other supplement manufacturers.
Pet Business: When was Nutramax Laboratories founded? What inspired its creation?
Marilyn Chambliss McElroy: It was founded in 1992. The company was created to find more natural compounds to manage joint health in people and pets. The founder, Dr. Robert Henderson, developed and patented the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate; and his son, Dr. Todd Henderson, a veterinarian, began to use it on pets in need of joint support. As more and more veterinarians learned about Cosequin, the company—with its high standards of quality and commitment to research—grew. With the support from veterinarians, the pet side of the business has thrived, and we are proud that Cosequin is the No. 1 veterinarian-recommended retail joint health supplement brand.
PB: What separates Nutramax Laboratories from other supplement manufacturers?
McElroy: Two major areas separate Nutramax Laboratories from many other supplement manufacturers:
Quality—Our commitment to quality is a key attribute we live by. We test raw materials on receipt to ensure they meet the certificate of analysis provided to us, and that the raw materials are free of contaminants or adulterations. Each product batch is tested, and we run stability tests to ensure that what is on the label is in the tablets from the date of manufacture until date of expiration. This commitment to quality is not apparent in some other supplement manufacturers, as research has shown as high as 80 percent of supplements fail to meet label claims.
Research—Nutramax Laboratories is committed to researching its ingredients and providing data to show the effects of its products. We have had many research papers presented at industry research expositions worldwide and published in peer-reviewed journals. We have conducted primary research ourselves and have collaborated with leading universities to conduct research, as well as provided veterinarians and physicians with clinical research to support product usage.
PB: What are some of the most popular products/lines and the newest introductions offered by Nutramax?
McElroy: Cosequin is the brand of joint health supplements for which Nutramax Laboratories Veterinary Sciences, Inc., is best known. Currently, we offer Cosequin in a number of SKUs to meet the needs of the pet and the owner. The main attribute that Cosequin delivers is helping support joint health in pets. Whether your pet needs a little support or a lot, we have formulas to help support cartilage health and keep pets moving as they age.
Dasuquin is our veterinary line of joint health supplements designed with ingredients shown to have more breadth of joint support than our Cosequin brand. These products are available through veterinarians.
While Nutramax Laboratories has a wide patent portfolio, one of the innovations we are supporting is our soft-chew Cosequin offerings. We have spent a good deal of time and effort on our soft-chew technology, whereby we combine the recommended level of actives in a chew that is highly palatable. This is in contrast to many of the joint treats marketed, which actually contain only trace amounts of actives. Some of these joint treats would require the pet to eat a whole bag or multiple bags in order to get the recommended daily levels of actives found in one Cosequin soft chew. We also produce Minis, which are soft chews designed for small breeds.
PB: What does the future hold for Nutramax?
McElroy: We are excited about the future of Nutramax Laboratories Veterinary Sciences, Inc., as we have an extensive new product pipeline, where we go beyond joint health and are expanding into other areas of pet care. We also are continuing our partnership with Jack Hanna, and we have several new TV commercials in the works. Jack has been a great ambassador for animals worldwide.
Additionally, we are reinvigorating our international presence through new manufacturing and distribution. Nutramax Laboratories Veterinary Sciences wants to continue being a champion for pet health, whether they are in the jungles of Africa or in our own backyard.