The Institute, the research arm of Australian supplements giant Blackmores, recently debuted its CMEd Silver programme in Malaysia, after 600 pharmacists in the country achieved its bronze accreditation.
"The bronze qualification was an entry-level programme and focused very much on ingredients," Blackmores Institute executive director Dr Lesley Braun told us.
“With the silver, and in the future the gold course, the content is much more condition based and offers practical advice for many of the ailments the phamacists’ will see on a daily basis,”
The course features modules on muscle and joint health, immunity, eye health, heart and circulation health and women’s health.
It aims to teach delegates how to identify the key management principles for the respective conditions, to evaluate and select the most suitable product, devise an integrated plan for the patient and effectively communicate it.
Elsewhere in the region, the bronze course is already being taught in Pakistan and Thailand, and there has been a soft launch in Singapore, with Australia next on the agenda.
“The courses have been so well received and are meeting a clear need. We know from our research and anecdotal evidence that pharmacists want to know and understand more about complementary medicines, and that consumers expected their pharmacists to have a certain level of expertise,” added Dr Braun.
The Institute has also recently published the 10th edition of its Complementary Medicines Interactions Guide (CMIG). Updated with the latest peer-reviewed data and new herbal ingredients, health professionals can now check more than 140 interactions between complementary and prescription medicines with the newly revised and expanded tool.
The latest edition has been reviewed and updated by an expert university panel and includes 15 new ingredients including as valerian and bromelai, 173 new interactions and 430 supporting articles.
In total the CMIG now covers 75 complementary medicine ingredients, over 300 interactions and draws from over 1,000 references.
“This free, practice-ready tool will support health professionals in counselling patients in the quality use of natural medicine ingredients and effective integration with other modalities. There is no other tool for health professionals as accessible, comprehensive and up-to-date as the Blackmores Institute CM interactions guide,” said Dr Braun.