CRN study finds many healthcare professionals recommend dietary supplements
WASHINGTON The Council for Responsible Nutrition on Tuesday released the results of its “Life…supplemented” Healthcare Professionals Impact Study, finding that more than three quarters of U.S. physicians (79 percent) and nurses (82 percent) recommend dietary supplements to their patients. The study also found that an almost equal number—72 percent of physicians and 89 percent of nurses—personally use vitamin, mineral herbal and other supplements either regularly, occasionally or seasonally, which is a higher percentage than the 68 percent of adults who report they take nutritional or dietary supplements, the Council noted.
“This survey, which is a first for our industry, shows that healthcare professionals believe that dietary supplements are part of a healthy lifestyle,” stated Steve Mister, president and chief executive officer of CRN. “Not only are they taking supplements for their own benefit, but they’re also recommending them to their patients. The approval of our products from reputable, respectable healthcare professionals, such as doctors and nurses, should be encouraging to consumers who already incorporate supplements into their wellness routine, and a wake-up call to those who haven’t yet started to do so.”
Of the 72 percent of physicians who use supplements, 85 percent also recommend them to their patients; and of the 28 percent of physicians who do not use supplements, three out of five (62 percent) still recommend them.
“It is common sense that physicians who personally take supplements also recommend them to their patients,” stated Donnica Moore, president of the Sapphire Women’s Health Group and a member of the study’s physician advisor team. “It’s interesting that the majority of physicians who don’t use supplements still recognize their patients may benefit from them. Although the study doesn’t provide an explanation, it may simply be that physicians recommend supplements to their patients for specific conditions that don’t apply to the physician’s own personal health.”
The number of physicians recommending dietary supplements to their patients is highest among obstetrician/gynecologists (91 percent), followed by primary care physicians (84 percent). Primary care physicians, OB/GYNs and nurses recommend supplements as often for “general well-being/prevention” as they do for special conditions, while other specialists recommend supplements more often for special conditions.
Almost three quarters of physicians (72 percent) and even more nurses (87 percent) reported they personally ask their patients about their use of dietary supplements. Also, 40 percent of physicians and 43 percent of nurses report that when discussing supplements with their patients, they, not their patients, are the ones who bring up the subject most often.
“Our industry needs to continue this type of research,” noted Judy Blatman, vice president, communications, CRN. “It’s important that we use this as benchmark data, continuing to do these types of surveys to see what trends develop in the upcoming years. … Healthcare professionals are an important audience for our industry and for our consumers and we must continue to be proactive in this area.”
GSK introduces Tums Kids
PITTSBURGH GlaxoSmithKline last month introduced the latest in kids gastrointestinal products—a new pediatric line of Tums called Tums Kids—and its being placed in a dedicated kids gastrointestinal set in many of the larger retailers.
Tums Kids is similar in size and consistency to the company’s Tums Smoothies line, only in a “cherry blast” flavor as opposed to chocolate or vanilla. In addition, the Tums Kids chewable tablets are scored down the center so that parents can deliver half a dose for children ages two to four. “It’s a Tums product formulated for kids ages 2-to-11 that offers a dual benefit of heartburn or upset stomach relief and [it’s] an excellent source of calcium,” commented Bill Kollitz, brand manager of Tums. “It’s a unique dose specially formulated for kids,” Kollitz added.
Novartis was one of the first companies to target kids GI as a niche with the introduction of its Gas-X Thin Strips in 2006. And Procter & Gamble soon followed with its launch of a children’s version of its Pepto-Bismol franchise, featuring a bubblegum-flavored soft chew for kids called Children’s Pepto. McNeil Consumer even has an Imodium A-D Liquid for use in children now.
“What we’re seeing is an emerging trend in retail in general, specifically in the drug accounts, is a dedicated shelf set for kids GI products,” Kollitz said. “Not only for upper GI, but there’s some lower GI products as well. Tums Kids really fits into that as an incremental placement.”
Diabetes is focus of Indiana, Nevada initiatives
INDIANAPOLIS and LAS VEGAS Eli Lilly and the Indiana Health Industry Forum will hold a summit on Nov. 13 called, “Building on Indiana’s Strength in Diabetes Research, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics,” to focus on the development of better therapies and diagnostic technologies for the prevention and management of diabetes.
The IHIF is a not-for-profit organization that works to define factors that can lead to economic development success in healthcare for Indiana and then build programs that support the future of the industry in the state.
The summit will be used to connect Indiana resources for the development of diabetes treatments and diagnostics, as well as identify business collaborations. In addition to attendees from academia and pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, representatives from Indiana state government, venture capital concerns, clinical research organizations, research service companies and advocacy groups will attend.
Also, today in Nevada, Health Innovations, the Nevada Health Care Coalition and Sanofi-Aventis released a new report on the demographics, costs and quality of care for people with Type 2 diabetes.
The Nevada Type 2 Diabetes Report for 2007 gives an overview of patient demographics, hospital and provider charges, and utilization of clinical services and drug therapy for people with Type 2 Diabetes in key local markets in the state of Nevada. The report also provides benchmarks from Phoenix as well as national benchmarks that can help employers and providers better identify opportunities to serve the needs of people with Type 2 diabetes.