As the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) conducts the first stage of a study on Gluten in Medications, co-primary investigator Dr. Robert Mangione took some time to speak with Dr. Ronald Hoffman about the study on the national wor710 talk radio program, Health Talk.
As Dean and Professor of Pharmacy at St. John’s University and a member of NFCA’s Scientific/Medical Advisory Board, Dr. Mangione is highly aware of pharmaceutical practices and the risk they could pose to individuals who must adhere to a gluten-free diet out of medical necessity.
Gluten is used in some medications to give the pill or caplet bulk or a suitable consistency, which the pharmaceutical industry calls “excipients,” Dr. Mangione explained. The problem is, many doctors and patients are not aware of which excipients are used in a particular medication. Dr. Hoffman agreed: “We [doctors] have no idea what the pill is made of,” he said.
Dr. Mangione also noted the struggle patients face when manufacturers are not able to confirm if a medication is gluten-free. In his opinion, “testing the final product before it is released for consumption is really the answer,” Dr. Mangione said.
In light of these challenges, NFCA launched the Gluten in Medications study, which Dr. Mangione is leading with co-primary investigator, Loretta Jay. The first phase of the study is a survey of gluten-free individuals about their experiences with medication, vitamins and supplements. The survey can be accessed at www.CeliacCentral.org/survey.
During the interview, Dr. Mangione noted that pharmacists can play a key role in protecting and educating gluten-free patients. “I think there’s a tremendous opportunity there for assistance, and a great opportunity for the pharmacist to provide great care to their patients,” he said.
Listen to the full broadcast: Health Talk with Dr. Ronald Hoffman