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DIETARY SUPPLEMENT DISPENSATION IN CLINICAL PRACTICE: A MESSAGE FROM NATURAL CLINICIAN™

The modern practitioner of integrative medicine faces many pitfalls when they select dietary supplements for dispensation in their clinical practice. While credible information must be given about dietary supplements to patients, natural clinicians seek ongoing education in the application of natural medicine.

Advances in nutraceutical technology have led to the use of synergistic formulations by healthcare professionals. Such formulations must be evidence-based, condition-specific and manufactured in clinical grade. Several companies have claimed that they produce dietary supplements for the exclusive use of natural clinicians. However, a simple inspection of the internet shows that many of these so-called, professional supplement organizations sell supplements to healthcare consumers over the internet or retail locations at deeply discounted prices. This circumstance results inevitably in loss of patient confidence and it destroys healthcare giver and client relationships when a healthcare consumer finds a supplement at a price much lower than the dispensation price that they paid to the healthcare professional. Informed practitioners of integrative medicine are no longer using dietary supplement products that are freely available in retail locations. Natural Clinician LLC provides advanced supplement formulae that are available only for dispensation by a healthcare professional. Natural Clinician LLC does not have high margins on sales and it places great emphasis on the development of supporting literature and research that can save consultation time for the natural clinician.

Ethical considerations must enter dispensation in professional practices and only companies that carry product liability insurance, to sufficiently protect the natural clinician, should be chosen in medical practice. Natural medicine cannot integrate into general medical practice without a scientific basis. Patients are very concerned about the quality of the formulation that was produced for dietary supplements. Natural Clinician works with a very prestigious scientific advisory board to continue to refine formulations to a level of excellence.

Natural clinicians are asking increasingly the same question: “who formulated the supplements that I use in clinical practice?” In the dietary supplement industry, few companies have any real research or scientific divisions and formulations are often made by people with no biomedical training, clinical experience or even insight.

The interface between alternative medicine and allopathic medicine is increasingly indistinct. At least three quarters of all patients in an out-patient, hospital, clinic are taking supplements, some of which are worthless. A healthcare professional who sells or dispenses a dietary supplement that is freely available in retail will lose patients. There is no doubt that supplement dispensation by healthcare professionals will lead to the responsible use of dietary supplements.