[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many natural health products and dietary supplements are purchased in pharmacies and it has been argued that pharmacists are in the best position to provide patients with evidence-based information about them. This study was designed to identify how the pharmacist's role with respect to natural health products and dietary supplements is portrayed in the literature.
A systematic search was conducted in a variety of health databases to identify all literature that pertained to both pharmacy and natural health products and dietary supplements. Of the 786 articles identified, 665 were broad-coded and 259 were subjected to in-depth qualitative content analysis for emergent themes.
Overwhelmingly, support for the sale of natural health products and dietary supplements in pharmacies is strong. Additionally, a role for pharmacist counselling is underscored. But another recurrent theme is that pharmacists are ill-equipped to counsel patients about these products that are available on their shelves. This situation has led some to question the ethics of pharmacists selling natural health products and dietary supplements and to highlight the existence of an ethical conflict stemming from the profit-motive associated with sales of natural health products and dietary supplements.
This analysis raises concerns about the ethics of natural health products and dietary supplements being sold in pharmacies, and about pharmacists being expected to provide counselling about products of which they have little knowledge.
International Journal of Pharmacy Practice 02/2009; 17(1):31-8.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Natural health products (NHPs) such as herbs, vitamins and homeopathic medicines, are currently available for sale in most Canadian pharmacies. However, most pharmacists report that they have limited knowledge about these products which have been regulated in Canada as a specific sub-category of drugs. In this paper, consumers' and practicing pharmacists' perceptions of pharmacists' professional responsibilities with respect to NHPs are examined.
A total of 16 focus groups were conducted with consumers (n = 50) and pharmacists (n = 47) from four different cities across Canada (Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, and Halifax).
In this paper, we illustrate the ways in which pharmacists' professional responsibilities are impacted by changing consumer needs. Many consumers in the study utilized a wide range of information resources that may or may not have included pharmacists. Nevertheless, the majority of consumers and pharmacists agreed that pharmacists should be knowledgeable about NHPs and felt that pharmacists should be able to manage drug-NHPs interactions as well as identify and evaluate the variety of information available to help consumers make informed decisions.
This paper demonstrates that consumers' expectations and behaviour significantly impact pharmacists' perceptions of their professional responsibilities with respect to NHPs.
BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 08/2008; 8:40. · 2.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES AND METHODS: Many authors have argued that ethical, legal, and social issues ("ELSIs") should be explicitly integrated into health technology assessment (HTA), yet doing so poses challenges. This discussion may be particularly salient for technologies viewed as ethically complex, such as genetic screening. Here we provide a brief overview of contemporary discussions of the issues from the HTA literature. We then describe key existing policy evaluation frameworks in the fields of disease screening and public health genomics. Finally, we map the insights from the HTA literature to the policy evaluation frameworks, with discussion of the implications for HTA in genetic screening. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: A critical discussion in the HTA literature considers the definition of ELSIs in HTA, highlighting the importance of thinking beyond ELSIs as impacts of technology. Existing HTA guidance on integrating ELSIs relates to three broad approaches: literature synthesis, involvement of experts, and consideration of stakeholder values. The thirteen key policy evaluation frameworks relating to disease screening and public health genomics identified a range of ELSIs relevant to genetic screening. Beyond straightforward impacts of screening, these ELSIs require consideration of factors such as the social and political context surrounding policy decisions. The three broad approaches to addressing ELSIs described above are apparent in the screening/genomics literatures. In integrating these findings we suggest that the method chosen for addressing ELSIs in HTA for genetic screening may determine which ELSIs are prioritized; and that an important challenge is the lack of guidance for evaluating such methods.
International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care 02/2008; 24(4):412-22. · 1.55 Impact Factor