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[e-drug] Nutrition in health care, any role for pharmacists? (2)

E-DRUG: Nutrition in health care, any role for pharmacists? (2)

Dear Rebecca,

My experience as a pharmacist in the area of nutrition comes from many years of 
participating in new product development, technical evaluation  and procurement 
of nutrition products for public health programmes. I can share with you the 

1.  Nutritionists are seldom agreed on exact product standards, partly because 
evidence is often shaky, shifting, or even controversial. You may wish, for 
example, to explore what the current expert thinking is on the role on 
nutrition products in HIV/AIDS, or that of iron supplementation in malaria 
endemic parts of the world. 
2.  Regulatory requirements vary widely from country to country. So, one often 
faces a situation in which country A may classify a product as a "nutritional 
product" whereas country B may classify it as a "pharmaceutical". The use of 
the term "nutraceutical" pops up from time to time. This creates a dilemma for 
the Pharmacist evaluating procurement bids.
3.  Reliable stability data for nutrition products are hard to come by, making 
one wonder how product shelf Lives of the numerous nutrition products in 
circulation are assigned.
4.  Most Nutritionists I have come across have a good knowledge of the clinical 
role of the nutrient/micronutrient, but little understanding of the active 
agent delivery options in terms of dosage forms. This is one important area 
where pharmacists can work together with nutritionists. This collaboration, 
however, should start up stream of clinical evidence gathering. 
5.  Lastly, I think the number of products on offer as nutrition for health 
care is so overwhelming that it becomes quite a challenge to decide which 
product to invest resources in.

Best wishes in your work,

Murtada M. Sesay
Senior Pharmaceutical Product/Supply Chain Officer
UNOPS India Procurement Office 
11, Golf Links
New Delhi - 110.003
Tel.: +91 11 3041 7430 (Direct), +91 11 3041 7430 (switchboard)
Fax: +91 11 4350 8527
Email:  Murtadas@unops.org

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