Natural Products Insider interviewed Venable partner Mark Pryor in an August 19, 2016 article on efforts by companies in the dietary supplement industry to engage with state attorneys general offices. Engagement is seen as a valuable opportunity to educate state AGs on the daily regulatory process they follow and help companies down the road should they come under investigation.
"There's kind of an old saying, 'You want to know [them] before you need [them],'" said Pryor. "You're always in a better position if they know who you are and you've met them … If your first contact with the state attorney general's office is when you get that subpoena or you get that CID [civil investigative demand], you know you’re behind the 8-ball already." He cautioned companies not to underestimate state AGs in litigation matters. "These attorney general offices, by and large, are very good lawyers," he said. "They have very experienced lawyers and they do these type of investigations all the time, they bring these kind of cases all the time, so don't think that you're getting the B-team when you are getting the state AG's office."
On the value of engaging with state AGs and building relationships, Pryor added, "I know for me, and most people, when you actually walk into a facility and see all the steps they have to go through, and all these steps are based on regulations, it kind of drives home the point that…these people are legit and they are following all the rules."