Communities and Collections
Usage
  • 18 views
  • 23 downloads

Community pharmacists’ views and practices regarding natural health products sold in community pharmacies

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Background Reports of regulatory and evidentiary gaps have raised concerns about the marketing and use of natural health products (NHPs). The majority of NHPs offered for sale are purchased at a community pharmacy and pharmacists are “front-line” health professionals involved in the marketing and provision of NHPs. To date, the involvement of pharmacists in pharmacy care involving NHPs and the degree to which concerns over the safety, efficacy, marketing and regulation of NHPs are addressed in pharmacy care in Canada have not been studied. Methods Using Qualtrics, a web-based data collection and analysis software, and a study instrument made up of fifteen (15) open-ended, closed and rating scale questions, we surveyed the attitudes and practices of 403 community pharmacists in the Canadian province of Alberta regarding NHPs offered for sale in community pharmacies. Results The majority of pharmacists surveyed (276; 68%) recommend NHPs to clients sometimes to very often. Vitamin D, calcium, multivitamins, prenatal vitamins, probiotics and fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids were the most frequently recommended NHPs. The most common indications for which NHPs are recommended include bone and musculoskeletal disorders, maintenance of general health, gastrointestinal disorders and pregnancy. Review articles published in the Pharmacist’s Letter and Canadian Pharmacists Journal were the primary basis for recommending NHPs. The majority of pharmacists surveyed (339; 84%) recommend the use of NHPs concurrently with conventional drugs, while a significant number and proportion (125; 31%) recommend alternative use. Pharmacists in the study overwhelmingly reported providing counselling on NHPs to clients based on information obtained mainly from the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Conclusions The study findings indicate a high prevalence of pharmacy care relating to NHPs among study participants. Although pharmacists’ practices around NHPs are consistent with the existing licensing framework, we found some involvement in problematic practices that necessitate further research and potential policy scrutiny. The study also uncovered patterns of recommendations, including sources relied on in recommending NHPs and in providing counselling to patients, that raise concerns about the quality and credibility of NHP-related care provided to pharmacy patrons.

  • Date created
    2016
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Article (Published)
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R37P8TT52
  • License
    Attribution 4.0 International
  • Language
  • Citation for previous publication
    • Ogbogu, U., & Necyk, C. (2016). Community pharmacists’ views and practices regarding natural health products sold in community pharmacies. PloS ONE, 11(9), e0163450 [19 pages]. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0163450
  • Link to related item
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0163450