Assessment of professional responsibilities of pharmacists towards the use of dietary supplements in Benin City
Dietary supplements (DS) are widely sold in pharmacies. In developing countries like Nigeria. Although there are no available data on the prevalence of use of DS, pharmacies sell many nutrition products used by the community. Patients generally depend on pharmacists for advice and information on drugs, including DS. This study is aimed at determining pharmacists’ acceptance of their professional responsibilities towards use of dietary supplements. A total of 140 questionnaires were self-administered to both hospital and community pharmacists in Benin City. Responses were evaluated using descriptive statistics and logistic regression analysis. The overall response rate was 86.4%. Responsibilities towards the use of vitamins/mineral supplements, nutraceuticals and herbal supplements were accepted by 85.4%, 47.5% and 24.1% of the pharmacists, respectively. The responsibilities that have most support were that of “knowledge” and “counseling” (p<0.001, p<0.05). The “documentation” of responsibility relating to reporting suspected adverse events to DS was poor for all the three different DS types. Years of experience, level of education and position at work of the pharmacist were the most common factors associated with the acceptance of DS-related professional responsibilities (p<0.001, p<0.05). The study showed that pharmacists accepted professional responsibilities differently for the different dietary supplement types. Other than vitamins/mineral supplements, the acceptance of professional responsibilities for the use of DS was poor.
Keywords: Vitamins/minerals, dietary supplements, herbal supplements, nutraceuticals, Pharmacists’ counseling and responsibilities.