Published Online: Saturday, July 1, 2006

Pharmacists can help patients on a nutritional level, according to a health expert. The growing focus on preventive health and consumer-directed health care is fusing with the "new frontier" of personalized nutrition, as research and genetic innovation in foods open new avenues to improve health."The pharmacist of tomorrow must look beyond the prescription counter and consider how the food products that are available in an entire store should be considered in the development of dietary advice for their clientele," said Carl Keen, PhD, during the Food Marketing Institute Pharmacy Conference.

This new role is especially important for supermarket pharmacists. Although the public is accepting the idea of food as medicine, Dr. Keen emphasized that a majority of individuals are overwhelmed and confused about the health benefits of food. "The confused and increasingly frustrated consumer will soon demand sophisticated, tailored information from health professionals. The pharmacist is in an ideal situation to provide this help," he added.

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