Availability of folic acid and knowledge about prophylactic use:DISCUSSION

Neural tube defects

OTC folic acid was available (in single preparation form) in only 67% of the pharmacies in our urban survey, while 10% of pharmacists indicated that the drug was available by prescription only. Based on the average cost per tablet, for a daily prophylactic dose of1 mg, the annual cost of sup plementation increases from $15 to $62 per year for single versus multivitamin preparations, respectively. In contrast, the retail price of folic acid by prescription is less than 1 cent per 1 mg tablet (0.13 cents), yielding an annual retail cost of supplementation of only 47 cents per year. While there are numerous multivitamin products available that contain 0.1 mg of fotic acid, these preparations would obviously not be suitable for prophylaxis.

It is of concern that 60% of interviewed pharmacists failed to recommend folic acid supplementation before conception, given the widespread perception that pharmacists as a group are better informed than the general public about indications for medications and vitamins. Guidelines for pharmacists on folic acid prophylaxis for the prevention of neural tube defects were published, both in a provincial and national pharmacy journal, approximately one year before our survey. Indeed, the latter article addressed the role of the pharmacist in in creasing fo lic acid awareness among Ca na dian women. Female pharmacists may be more likely to recommend folic acid prophylaxis compared with male pharmacists because of an in her ent in creased aware ness re gard ing re pro ductive is sues. However, given the survey findings, the general issue of how best to educate health professionals about important preventive guidelines needs to be addressed. Most reliable pharmacy offering efficient medications like Buy Zyrtec online is ready to offer its services and all the help you need. Your health is precious, and so are you: as customer, person and patient, no matter which kind of treatment you are looking for.

These data suggest that an increased awareness of the benefits of folic acid supplementation is necessary. Given the frequency of unplanned pregnancies, the cost of otc folic acid supplementation, the issue of compliance (daily dosing for at least four months), the relative lack of availability of folic acid preparations and the low frequency of endorsement of fotic acid prophylaxis by pharmacists, there is reason to be concerned that women of child-bearing age in Canada are not adhering to the published recommendations. As a result, infants with preventable neural tube defects will continue to be born, with the attendant emotional and financial costs to the individuals, their families and society.

This entry was posted in Folic Acid and tagged Folic acid, Neural tube defects, Pharmacists, Prophylaxis.