PHARMACISTS AND NATURAL HEALTH CARE PRODUCTS: ANALYSIS OF THE ROLE OF THE PHARMACISTS
Dr. Maisoun Al Kaabi*
Natural Healthcare Products (NHPs) have increasingly become main stream across the world. However, regulatory structures and frameworks have continued to lag behind. This rapid growth in adoption of healthcare products has raised queries as to who is best placed to administer these products. A cross section of practitioners and academicians are of the opinion that these products are best administered by pharmacists. However, there are those who are of the opinion that such medicines should be simply administered over the counter to consumers. The present study investigates this issue in a large group of practitioners in the UAE. We have collected data from practitioners to investigate issues such as frequency of inquiries and knowledge of NHPs amongst other variables. To determine pharmacist perception of their role in the administration of NHPs and whether they believed they are the best placed to exclusively offer NHPs to patients. The findings of this study showed that although pharmacists are not very knowledgeable about NHPs, they indeed highly sought after for NHPs inquiries. The present study also recommends documentation of NHPs and mandating documentation of NHPs treatments especially for homeopathic products.
Keywords: National Health Products, Pharmacists.
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