APhA convenes stakeholders on appropriate omega-3 fish oil use for VHT

Clarity for Patient Care Roundtable held in San Diego

As part of APhA's longstanding and ongoing commitment to helping its members ensure optimal and safe patient use of prescription medications, nonprescription products, and dietary supplements, APhA convened national pharmacy and medicine leaders and other stakeholders on March 26. The goal of the Clarity for Patient Care Roundtable was to identify strategies that will ensure optimal use of appropriate omega-3 fish oil products for the treatment of patients with very high triglyceride (VHTG) levels.

While omega-3 dietary supplements can be an important part of consumer wellness, unlike regulated prescription and OTC drugs, dietary supplements are not required to meet strict FDA drug standards for safety, efficacy, and manufacturing and are not intended to treat serious medical conditions like VHTG.  Patients should consult with their doctor about appropriate FDA-approved drug therapy. 

During the March stakeholder meeting, several key strategies were identified to clarify existing information resources and gaps in care for VHTG, reduce barriers to effective health care professional and patient engagement surrounding treatment of VHTG, and formulate recommendations for stakeholder groups at large. Stakeholders agreed that action is needed on the following four key fronts:

  1. Greater interprofessional collaboration, development, and dissemination of verified product information
  2. Greater education and clarification of differences between omega-3 prescription and dietary supplement products, for both health care professionals and consumers
  3. Improvements in shared decision making among providers and patients
  4. Greater public awareness on appropriate treatment options for VHTG

APhA will be working closely with cosponsors of the stakeholder meeting, including the Endocrine Society and American College of Cardiology, to explore options for carrying out the stakeholder recommendations in coming months.