The U.S. News & World Report launched a section on its website that lists pharmacist-recommended supplements in several categories. The site lists products by name and tells the percentage of pharmacists that recommended it in a recent survey.
The supplement section is part of U.S. News' new online portal of recommended over-the-counter (OTC) products. U.S. News partnered with the Pharmacy Times, which has surveyed pharmacists about their top OTC brand recommendations for the past 16 years. U.S. News' goal is to bring this information to a consumer audience.
I think this is a great resource, but it does need to be improved. My biggest complaint is that it doesn't list the manufacturer, which can make it confusing. It's no big deal that Metamucil is listed under the fiber supplements section because everyone know what that is, but the "Joint Relief Formula" product listed in the bone/joint strengtheners could refer to a number of different manufacturers. Is this product from Iceland Health, Healthy Associates Products or some other manufacturer?
But still, this list is a good place for U.S. News to start. And it shows a growing bond between supplements and pharmacists. The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) has recently connected with pharmacists by is partnering with the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) to host a free webinar on calcium and vitamin D, and CRN partnered with the Pharmacist Society in an effort to use social media engagement initiatives to educate them on supplements.
Plus, the recent National Health Research Institute (NHRI) partnered with the University of Illinois (UIC) College of Pharmacy in October 2012 to education pharmacy students about the benefits of natural products for women's health.
Supplement manufacturers can find great friends in well-educated pharmacists, and it's great that consumers know pharmacists understand and recommend supplements. Even with the flaws, the U.S. News' new pharmacist-recommended supplement list should be applauded.