WASHINGTON, D.C. — April 24, 2012 — The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) and the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) announced today that the organizations are working together to remind pharmacists about their legal obligations when selling dietary supplements in a retail setting. CRN and FMI have added an insert page specifically for pharmacists to CRN’s "Roadmap for Retailers"," a free brochure released last year by CRN. FMI endorsed the expanded "Roadmap" tool and will work to further distribute the brochure to its retail pharmacy members.

The insert highlights the valuable role pharmacists play in helping to guide consumers as they seek information on dietary supplements. Pharmacists and other pharmacy personnel can use the "Roadmap" as a reminder about the kinds of claims that are acceptable in retail pharmacies. CRN and FMI will extend this education effort by holding a webinar later this year for pharmacists on Pharmacist Society, an online community for pharmacy professionals sponsored by the Drug Store News Group.

“As part of CRN’s ongoing commitment to educating healthcare professionals about the safe use of dietary supplements, this partnership gives CRN the opportunity to help educate a community of healthcare practitioners who deal directly with millions and millions of consumers who want information about dietary supplements,” said Duffy MacKay, N.D., vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs, CRN. "Working with FMI on this project gives us further access to the pharmacists who sell our products and want to stay on the right side of the law."

“We are pleased to join forces with CRN to produce this educational tool for retail pharmacists,” Cathy Polley, vice president of health and wellness and executive director of the FMI foundation, said. “Pharmacists are highly trained, valuable resources for consumers, and the ‘Roadmap’ will serve as a helpful reference tool when guiding consumers to dietary supplements to support their health regimens.”

According to research from the “Life…supplemented” Healthcare Professionals (HCP) Impact Study, 93 percent of pharmacists recommend supplements to their patients, while 87 percent believe that supplements can play an important role in improving or maintaining the health of their patients. With regard to which supplements pharmacists were most often asked about, the top three noted by respondents are omega-3/fish oil (noted by 75 percent), calcium (73 percent) and glucosamine/chondroitin (70 percent).

Dr. MacKay recently spoke at FMI’s annual Health and Wellness Conference; you can access his presentation here. To learn more about the partnership and educational opportunities, please contact Trainor Walsh with CRN at twalsh@crnusa.org or Cathy Polley with FMI at cpolley@fmi.org.