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Medical errors and supplements

This article was originally published in The Tan Sheet

Executive Summary

"It isn't easy to really identify and link an adverse reaction to a particular...drug/food, drug/supplement interaction," GAO Health Financing and Public Health Issues Associate Director Janet Heinrich states during a Feb. 1 Senate Health & Education Committee hearing held to discuss medical errors in the health care system. The remark came in response to a query from Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) regarding interactions involving dietary supplements. Also testifying at the hearing, CDER Director Janet Woodcock, MD, commended a CVS program to alert consumers about possible Rx/OTC/supplement interactions, saying "the role of the pharmacist and the pharmacy has been underutilized in managing the safety of medications." TV and print ads for the CVS program broke in January (1"The Tan Sheet" Jan. 24, p. 8)

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