AMA, FDA launch continuing med ed course on dietary supplements

CHICAGO — The American Medical Association (AMA), in collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), today announced a new continuing medical education (CME) course available for physicians and other health care professionals, aimed at helping them understand how dietary supplements are regulated and counseling patients about their benefits and risks. In addition, the course provides information on how to report adverse events associated with dietary supplements to the FDA.

“With the dietary supplement market in the U.S. continuing to grow and use of these products increasing among the population, it’s important for physicians and other health care professionals to have the information they need to help their patients weigh the benefits and risks of taking dietary supplements. While some supplements can help people meet daily requirements of essential nutrients or help improve or maintain overall health, patients must be aware that dietary supplements can come with health risks,” said AMA President Gerald E. Harmon, M.D. “These new resources are aimed at helping health care professionals and patients make informed decisions about dietary supplements.”

Specifically, the new three-part video course details how dietary supplements are defined, regulated, and labeled—including the types of claims that are permitted. The course reviews the potential interactions of dietary supplements with other supplements, medications, and laboratory tests and shares how to identify adverse events and report them to FDA. The course also offers practical guidance for physicians and other health care professionals that they can share directly with patients.

“The FDA is excited to work with the AMA on these new continuing medical education videos, designed to help physicians and other healthcare professionals better understand the regulation of dietary supplements, provide information to patients on their use, and understand the importance of reporting adverse events to the FDA,” said Doug Stearn, Deputy Director for Regulatory Affairs in the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “We know that healthcare professionals are among the most trusted when it comes to providing information to their patients, so this collaboration is especially valuable in our efforts to better inform healthcare professionals and their patients about the potential risks as well as benefits of dietary supplements.”

To view the new dietary supplement CME course, which includes companion patient education materials, visit the AMA Ed Hub or the FDA’s website at the following link. The course is free and qualifies for 0.50 AMA PRA Category 1 credit(s).

The AMA’s work in developing this content stems in part from policy adopted by the House of Delegates in 2020 urging physicians to inquire about patients’ use of dietary supplements and engage in risk-based conversations with them about dietary supplement product use. The policy also called on the AMA to work with the FDA to educate physicians and the public about FDA's Safety Reporting Portal and to strongly encourage physicians and the public to report potential adverse events associated with dietary supplements. The AMA will continue to support policies that promote increased oversight of and innovation in the dietary supplement industry and efforts to safeguard the public from unsafe and illegal products.

About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the physicians’ powerful ally in patient care. As the only medical association that convenes 190+ state and specialty medical societies and other critical stakeholders, the AMA represents physicians with a unified voice to all key players in health care.  The AMA leverages its strength by removing the obstacles that interfere with patient care, leading the charge to prevent chronic disease and confront public health crises and, driving the future of medicine to tackle the biggest challenges in health care.

This article was originally published here.



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