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Adding A Nutriceutical Pharmacy To A Medical Practice: Part 2

Part 1 of this article briefly discussed the concept of adding a nutriceutical pharmacy to a medical practice.

Besides helping the health of your patients, it is not unusual for a physician with a moderate size practice to be able to increase yearly profits by $100,000-$200,000 by adding an efficiently run nutriceutical pharmacy.

Here are questions I typically receive from physicians about nutriceutical pharmacies along with my answers:

Q-“I was taught that taking vitamins and minerals just give you expensive urine. Can’t we get all the nutrients we need from food?”

A-Every nerve, muscle, bone, organ, gland, cell and all bodily fluids in the human body are entirely formed from nutrients. Every metabolic pathway (i.e. citric acid cycle, urea cycle, Phase I and 2 liver detoxification, etc.) is formed from nutrients and dependent upon nutrient co-factors to keep functioning. All tissues need a continual supply of high quality nutrients to function because many nutrients are used up and are not recycled. Mitochondria require a constant supply of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxal-5-phosphate, alpha lipoic acid, and coenzyme Q10 in order to convert a one molecule of acetyl CoA into 38 units of ATP.

The Standard American Diet (SAD!) is junk food laden and horribly deficient in the nutrients that help our bodies function optimally. In fact these junk foods actually increase the need for specific nutritional supplements like chromium, vanadium and certain B vitamins.  Because of poor farming practices many fruits and vegetables contain only half the nutrients they contained in the 1950s.

Q-“I’m considering this but are their really any good studies about the efficacy of nutritional therapies?”

A-Yes. There is now a very large body of well-designed studies showing the efficacy of specific nutrients for specific health problems. In fact, these studies are much less biased than the ‘junk science’ that many pharmaceutical pay for to sell their products.

Q-“Isn’t selling nutrients out of my own office a ‘conflict of interest’?”

A-That is your individual choice but consider this: Pharmaceutical companies pay for their own studies and will often suppress findings that show ineffectiveness and even dangers of their drugs. That is a major conflict of interest!

So is providing your patients with professional grade, much needed Vitamin D3 and you making a profit instead of the health food store a conflict of interest for you? Especially when you can provide them with a more absorbable form with certificates of analysis proving the product actually contains the dosage claimed and is free from toxicity?

Q-“ I’m not sure my state board will allow me to dispense and sell nutrients out of my own office.”

A-Often their is no specific published ruling about this so many physicians just choose to do what’s best for their patients. If your board specifically prohibits you from selling nutrients from your office, form a coalition of like-minded physicians and keep bringing your board research to establish you are providing your patients scientifically researched nutritional therapy.

About: Dr. Dean Raffelock is a nationally known expert in integrative health care and consults for physicians nation-wide at Raffelock and Associates. You may contact him at

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Reader Comments (2)

I think its doable. I have never seen a person who knows pharmacy and nutrition at the same time.
supplements canada

Jul 21 | Unregistered CommenterStefano

Not only can a physician sell supplements in her office, she can also do so online. One reason to offer supplements is to assure patients take quality herbs and vitamins. Many supplement companies like Thorne carry products that are pharmaceutical quality which are sold only through physicians offices or pharmacies. Studies show that many consumer grade supplements sold in stores do not provide the nutrients found on the label. Another reason to offer supplements in-house is for the convenience of the patients. I created an online store for re-ordering and as an education source about supplements. See which is the supplement site for my private practice at The Healing Arts Partnership in Seattle Washington.

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