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What risk do consumers face when seeking medical advice from health food stores?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21946639     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
AIM: There is currently no specific legislation to regulate either complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) products or the majority of those promoting them. This study sought to highlight the general risk a consumer may face when they seek help/advice from a pharmacy or health food store (HFS). METHODS: 21 HFS, matched with pharmacies, were visited by a researcher complaining of tiredness, who stated he had been taking warfarin over the previous 2 months. The name, manufacturer and retail price of any products recommended were recorded immediately after leaving the premises. Paired contingency table analysis was used. RESULTS: A pharmacy was significantly more likely to advise the consumer to consult a doctor (13/21) than a HFS (3/21) with a difference in marginal proportions of 47.6% (95%CI 22.5-72.7), p=0.006. A HFS was more likely to recommend more products, and only about one-quarter gave appropriate advice regarding possible interactions with warfarin and management of anticoagulation compared with two-thirds of pharmacies. CONCLUSION: To provide safe and quality advice to consumers, those promoting CAM products need to obtain relevant history and give accurate information regarding possible dug interactions and be prepared to refer back to mainstream medical services. Better regulation of CAM products and those promoting them is called for.
Authors:
Llifon Edwards; Sarah Jefferies; Bridget Healy; Mark Weatherall; Richard Beasley; Philippa Shirtcliffe
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Publication Detail:
Type:  -     Date:  2011-5-13
Journal Detail:
Title:  The New Zealand medical journal     Volume:  124     ISSN:  1175-8716     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2011  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-9-27     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0401067     Medline TA:  N Z Med J     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  81-88     Citation Subset:  -    
Affiliation:
MRINZ, Private Bag 7902, Wellington 6242, New Zealand. Pip.Shirtcliffe@mrinz.ac.nz.
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