Magazine article Drug Topics

Replenishing Nutrient Deficiencies: New Information for R.Ph.S

Magazine article Drug Topics

Replenishing Nutrient Deficiencies: New Information for R.Ph.S

Article excerpt

Where can pharmacists glean information about prescription-induced nutrient depletions and about products they can confidently recommend for repletion? Several firms are offering or getting ready to offer this valuable information.

One company, Healthnotes, Portland, Ore., is providing depletion information via both a hardcopy and an electronic product, called Healthnotes Clinical Essentials series, Vol. I: Drug-Herb-Supplement Depletions/Interactions.

Schuyler W. Lininger Jr., president and CEO of Healthnotes, cited antibiotics and birth control pills as two commonly prescribed prescription drugs that cause nutrient depletions. He said he believes it's a mistake for pharmacists not to be making a recommendation for dietary supplements-not just because it's good business but also because it's good medicine.

Lininger noted that birth control pills, as an example, cause folic acid depletion. "We think if there are any women taking oral contraceptives who are diagnosed with cervical dysplasia, they should be taking folic acid." Folic acid, he said, is important in reducing the risk of heart disease, cervical dysplasia, and neural tubal defects in pregnancy. "It's a great opportunity for pharmacists dispensing birth control pills to advise taking some folic acid."

Healthnotes is marketing Clinical Essentials in a three-ring looseleaf binder as well as via a CDROM. The firm is also licensing the product and transmitting it directly to pharmacies for installation on their Intranet.

Healthnotes' drug/nutrient information is already being supplied to pharmacies through Cardinal's Renlar subsidiary and through IICC, a Texas-based pharmacy software firm. "We've integrated our drug/nutrient information into their workflow so they can pull up a script or OTC on screen, and the information will tell them if there are any nutrient interactions or depletions," Lininger explained.

Healthnotes charges $199 for Vol. I. The firm also publishes Vol. II, Conditions, Herbs, and Supplements. The cost for both volumes is $299 (quarterly updates are included); the CD-ROM is $399. Vols. I and II together with the CD-ROM are $599.

Another firm eyeing what could be a burgeoning market is Integrative Medicine Communications, Newton, Mass. …

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