I. The AANP is a strong proponent of Preventive Medicine and considers adequate nutrition to be of primary importance in the maintenance of health and the prevention of disease.
II. There are numerous references in the medical literature that document the existence of subclinical disease and the fact that the chances of anyone consuming a diet that meets the RDA for all nutrients is extremely unlikely.
III. There are numerous citations in the medical literature about the efficacy of homeopathic, botanical and other natural substances as medications to be used in the treatment of disease. It is common knowledge that many of the medications prescribed by Naturopathic Physicians (such as homeopathic and botanical medications as well as certain nutrient supplements) are not available elsewhere.
IV. Certain medications, although available through retailers, exist in these markets as different formulations than the physician determines most effective for his patients. These "optimal formulations" may only be available through companies that sell exclusively to physicians.
V. Certain formulations are classified as "legend drugs" (even through they may be natural origin). These medications may be obtainable via a prescription yet are not readily available through retail pharmacies.
VI. In general, the companies that supply products to physicians are under strict scrutiny by the FDA. This ensures certain standards of quality control. While true for the majority of companies that supply health food stores, certain companies may avoid FDA regulation.
VII. Any selling of medications within a doctor's office must be based on addressing the needs of the patient. The making of profit is always viewed as a secondary consideration. This is an extension of the code of ethics of the state and national associations governing the conduct of Naturopathic Physicians.
VIII. While the retail selling of medications could be construed as a conflict of interest on the part of the physician; as long as the underlying intention remains the patient's best interest and not to make profit, and no other source for the formulation and quality of the medication that the physician feels is adequate exists, this remains a legitimate and viable service.
IX. The AANP expects that its members act conscientiously and within accepted codes of ethics concerning these and all professional matters. Any breach of this should be reported to the AANP if writing as identified.
Principal Authors: Martin Milner, ND, Konrad Kail, ND
Adopted at the 1990 Annual Convention.
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