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Res Social Adm Pharm. 2010 Mar;6(1):63-9. doi: 10.1016/j.sapharm.2009.02.004. Epub 2009 Jul 29.

Roles and responsibilities of pharmacists with respect to natural health products: key informant interviews.

Author information

1
Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto, 144 College Street, Room 635, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3M2, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although many pharmacies sell natural health products (NHPs), there is no clear definition as to the roles and responsibilities (if any) of pharmacists with respect to these products.

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this study was to explore pharmacy and stakeholder leaders' perceptions of pharmacists' professional NHP roles and responsibilities.

METHODS:

Semi-structured key informant interviews were conducted with pharmacy leaders (n=17) and stakeholder (n=18) leaders representing consumers, complementary and alternative medicine practitioners, conventional health care practitioners, and industry across Canada.

RESULTS:

All participants believed a main NHP responsibility for pharmacists was in safety monitoring, although a one challenge identified in the interviews was pharmacists' general lack of NHP knowledge; however, stakeholder leaders did not expect pharmacists to be experts, but should have a basic level of knowledge about NHPs.

CONCLUSION:

Participants described pharmacists' professional roles and responsibilities for NHPs as similar to those for over-the-counter drugs; more awareness of existing NHP-related pharmacy policies is needed, and pharmacy owners/managers should provide additional training to ensure front-line pharmacists have appropriate knowledge of NHPs sold in the pharmacy.

PMID:
20188329
PMCID:
PMC2923149
DOI:
10.1016/j.sapharm.2009.02.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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