Supplier News Breaks Archives
Poll: Pharmacists are underused vitamin resource
January 24th, 2012
NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – A survey sponsored by Pharmavite's Nature Made brand found that many consumers don't take advantage of pharmacists' expertise about dietary supplements and vitamins.
The online poll of about 500 U.S. retail pharmacists revealed that on average, pharmacists are much less likely to field customer questions about vitamins and supplements than about other over-the-counter health care products and prescription drugs, Nature Made said Tuesday.
Pharmacists estimate they answer questions about prescription medications for roughly half of their customers (51%), whereas they answer questions about OTC products for about one in three customers (35%) and about vitamins and supplements for less than one in four customers (23%).
"Many Americans don't realize they have unlimited free access to a health expert in the pharmacist at their local pharmacy," Nature Made stated. "Pharmacists are able to provide detailed guidance on all pharmacy products, including not only prescription medications, but also OTC products like vitamins and supplements. Still, few Americans appear to be tapping their knowledge for OTC products."
Pharmacists' input is even more valuable considering that, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, more than half of all U.S. adults are now taking supplements, Nature Made noted. In fact, 93% of pharmacists surveyed agreed that taking vitamins and supplements is important for maintaining overall good health.
When it comes to recommending a specific brand of vitamin, 85% of pharmacists polled said product quality is a very important factor, followed by product purity (cited by 77%) and product potency (65%).
Two in three pharmacists (67%) indicated that they tell customers to look for the USP seal or other third-party certification when selecting vitamins and supplements. Also, 56% of pharmacists surveyed recommend that customers look at the form of the vitamin or supplement and 46% said customers should look at the size when selecting a brand.