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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Local Pharmacists Might Need More Training to Help Celiac Disease Customers

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      If local pharmacists are to play a role in helping people with celiac disease to remain gluten-free by providing information about possible gluten in drugs, they will need more knowledge and better training, according to a new survey.


    Caption: Image: CC--Ninian Reid

    Celiac.com 08/22/2018 - There’s been some data to support the idea that local pharmacists might have an important role to play in helping people with celiac disease to remain gluten-free by providing information about possible gluten in drugs, and even liaising with manufacturers for gluten information on the patient’s behalf, as needed.

    But how solid is your local pharmacist when it comes to celiac disease awareness? A team of researchers recently set out to evaluate pharmacists' knowledge of celiac disease, and to look for areas where further information may be beneficial.

    The research team included Carmela Avena-Woods, PharmD, BS Pharm; Robert A. Mangione, EdD; and Wenchen Kenneth Wu, PhD, MBA. They are all with St. John's University in Queens, New York. To gather data for their evaluation, their team sent a survey to community pharmacists who practice in a national chain pharmacy in one region of New Jersey and New York.

    A total of 418 pharmacists, just under 40%, responded to the survey. Sixty percent of the responses correctly noted that there are currently no federal regulations requiring manufacturers to designate medications as gluten-free. Still, forty percent got that wrong. Perhaps most alarmingly, of the pharmacists who claimed a basic or advanced understanding of celiac disease, only 27% correctly indicated that celiac disease is both an autoimmune and a chronic lifelong disease. 

    Interestingly, twenty percent of pharmacists said they often suggested a change of diet to people with suspected celiac disease before a clinical diagnosis was made.

    This study suggests that community pharmacists have some understanding of celiac disease, but that additional celiac education is advisable if they are to play an integral role in helping people with celiac disease to maintain a gluten-free diet.

    Read more at: Am J Pharm Educ. 2018;82(2)

     


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    I asked four pharmacists to help me find gluten and dairy (milk sugar) free meds. Three were helpless. The fourth turned up some meds, but when I asked the same (major mail order insurer's vendor) pharmacy to provide them, they said those meds had been discontinued a year ago.

    Pharmacists can't afford to invest the time that real medicine requires. What we need is an FDA requirement to print ALLERGENS prominently on the label. As it took so long to get required on foods.

     

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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