LEAWOOD, Kan. Pharmavite has aligned with the American Academy of Family Physicians’ Consumer Alliance Program, the company announced Friday. As part of the partnership, Pharmavite will underwrite the development of nonbranded, physician-reviewed consumer education content on vitamins, supplements, general health and heart health, which will be featured on AAFP’s consumer health site FamilyDoctor.org.
Serving as an online destination for patients seeking information on health questions, issues and concerns, FamilyDoctor.org recently was named one of “Five Great Health Sites” on a Newsweek.com blog, and one of the “‘Top Ten’ Most Useful Web Sites” by the Medical Library Association. FamilyDoctor.org welcomes, on average, 3.5 million unique visitors each month.
“The Consumer Alliance Program helps fulfill the AAFP’s objective of improving the health of the public, in that it allows new opportunities for excellent patient education through FamilyDoctor.org,” stated AAFP EVP and CEO Douglas Henley.
While FamilyDoctor.org and the AAFP do not endorse any specific brand, product or service, the Consumer Alliance Program is an opportunity for Familydoctor.org and AAFP to collaborate with consumer products companies that share the common goal of informing consumers, as well as medical professionals, about new advances in product science, nutrition and best practices for good health and a balanced lifestyle.
“Generally the best way to ensure you get the vitamins and minerals your body needs is through a balanced and varied diet, but that is not always possible,” Henley said.
Americans increasingly are using vitamins and dietary supplements to prevent nutritional deficiencies. Nielsen's Scantrack point-of-sale data indicates that use of vitamins, minerals and supplements by U.S. consumers increased 31% from 2005 to 2009.
With increased use of these products comes an increased need for patient education to ensure their proper usage. As part of their counseling, physicians can now refer their patients to the educational materials on FamilyDoctor.org about the appropriate use of vitamins and supplements.
“We know that many of our patients already use vitamins and supplements,” Henley said. “As family physicians, it is important that we counsel our patients on how to use these products properly, what vitamins and minerals they might not be getting enough of in their diet, and recommend appropriate dosages to resolve those deficiencies if they exist. It is also important to remind them that taking supplements does not replace the need to eat a healthy diet.”
The AAFP maintains complete editorial control over the content developed for FamilyDoctor.org to ensure creation of balanced, evidence-based content that can help consumers make informed decisions. The content is reviewed extensively by family physician editors, members of the AAFP Commission on Health of the Public and Science and credentialed expert consultants.