In the past, the relationship between pharmaceutical drugs and the supplement industry was rather adversarial in nature. Fast forward to our modern day and it is easy to see how this trend has changed dramatically. With the coining of the term “nutraceuticals“, it becomes evident the two have begun to work together to address consumer needs.
The Historical Landscape
To understand why selling dietary supplements is beneficial, it helps to take a little detour back in history. Centuries ago, sailors learned that the way to prevent scurvy from destroying the health of people on long voyages was to supplement their diet with foods containing vitamin C. One might prefer to be skeptical about the science behind such a decision at the time, but the results of such a practice speak for themselves.
Today, people better understand the science behind why vitamin C prevents scurvy, just as they understand why a combination of vitamins D3, K2 and other dietary components helps to stave off the deteriorating problems of osteoporosis.
When a doctor of pure science wants to address blood pressure issues, for example, he may recommend a supplement or dietary regimen that increases potassium levels. At times, even pure science will reveal why simple dietary supplements get the job done. The area that gets sticky for many of these doctors is when their patients are sold a supplement – one that has not been subjected to rigorous scientific testing – and derive a positive benefit anyway.
Benefits to Patients and Industry
Following the money, it is easy to note that one reason more pharmaceutical companies jumped into creating and selling supplements as a class of pharmaceuticals today is because of consumer demand. Patients – those made aware of harmful side effects from medications on television commercials – recognize that conventional drugs are certainly dangerous and can be of questionable benefit to their health. In many cases, the side effects of certain drugs are far worse than the problem they are attempting to resolve. For this reason, more patients with serious health conditions are actively seeking safer dietary supplement alternatives.
When a patient tries a supplement that does not carry the reported side effects of modern drugs, a positive benefit can create an interest among consumers. Even the pharmaceutical industry may find it difficult to ignore such viral marketing results.
A benefit that the pharmaceutical industry is able to contribute to the supplement industry is to create supplements for patients that are pharmaceutical-grade. This benefit is truly a win-win situation for patients using supplements and for the pharmaceutical companies alike.
Pharmaceutical companies can produce supplements that provide consistent measured results and patients will in turn be using a higher quality supplement because of it. For this reason, it is easy to see why the convergence between dietary supplements and pharmaceutical products is an industry trend that will continue to benefit and thrive with or without the blessing of pure science.
If you’re interested in starting an online supplement store for your practice, Doctors Supplement Store can help. We’ll provide you with an online store that your patients can use – that is branded as your own – and we’ll manage the timely shipping of the supplements to your patients. That gives you more time to help your patients, while we manage the store. Contact Doctors Supplement Store today to find out how we can help you and your practice