Embargoed materials for Complementary & Integrative Medicine Conference


Abstract 302 Effectiveness and Costs of Acupuncture in Patients with Osteoarthritis - the Acupuncture in Routine Care Study (ARC)
Witt C, Reinhold T, Jena S, Brinkhaus B, Liecker B, Willich SN

May 26, 2006 at 11:45AM
Salon 9

Presenting Author: Theresa L. Charrois, BScPharm, MSc
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Canada

Survey Reveals Pharmacists' Concerns About Natural Health Products

As natural health products are not scrutinized or standardized to the same extent as pharmaceutical drugs, questions exist about the safety of these products, particularly with respect to potential interactions with various over-the-counter and prescription medications.

A recent survey of community pharmacists shows that many share concerns about the quality of natural health products and the potential adverse events and/or drug interactions associated with these products. The results will be presented at The North American Research Conference on Complementary and Integrative Medicine held in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, May 24th-27th, 2006.

In the survey, 132 pharmacists in Alberta and British Columbia responded, for a response rate of 41%. A total of 19% of the respondents had previously reported an adverse event to Health Canada. When asked specifically about natural health product-drug interactions or adverse events, 47% of pharmacists stated they had seen a potential interaction, however, only 2 of these respondents reported it to Health Canada. About half of these pharmacists discussed the interaction with the patient.

The majority (89%) of pharmacists reported being moderately to extremely concerned about natural health product-drug interactions and adverse events. Over 82% reported being moderately to extremely concerned regarding the quality of natural health products, with 91% of respondents indicating that their concern was due to lack of standardizat


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