Barriers to pharmacists adopting professional responsibilities that support the appropriate and safe use of dietary supplements in the United States: Perspectives of key stakeholders.

Oxford University Press (OUP)
Publication Type:
Journal Article
American journal of health-system pharmacy : AJHP : official journal of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, 2019, 76, (13), pp. 980-990
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
PURPOSE:Complementary health approaches including the use of dietary supplements (DS) such as vitamin, mineral, nutritional, and herbal supplements are popular in the United States. Beyond a statement issued by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) in 2004, knowledge about the role of pharmacists related to DS use is largely unknown. The objectives of this study were to identify pharmacists' and other key stakeholders' perceptions and opinions about assuming roles that ensure the appropriate and safe use of DS. METHODS:A grounded theory approach involving in-depth, semi-structured key informant audio-recorded phone interviews with 12 practicing pharmacists and 10 key stakeholders were conducted. Key themes were identified using open coding, grouping, and categorizing. RESULTS:Participants believed the majority of their patients self-select and purchase DS from a pharmacy, often in conjunction with conventional medicines, and reported concerns about the regulatory standards, efficacy, and safety of DS. Despite acknowledging their ethical and professional responsibilities regarding DS, as identified by the ASHP statement and other sources, the majority of pharmacists are not expecting their profession to adopt these in the near future because of multiple barriers. CONCLUSIONS:There is a substantial disconnect between awareness of DS use and pharmacists adopting professional responsibilities regarding DS. The barriers identified are multifaceted, indicating the need for a joint effort from key stakeholders in developing a coordinated approach to supporting pharmacists in their practice efforts to ensure the appropriate and safe use of DS.
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