CRN sees pharmacists as a key group in health care professional circles, after its annual Consumer Confidence Survey showed that 40 percent of consumers trust pharmacists as a reliable source of information on supplements, second only to doctors. "It's so important that we help ensure pharmacists have appropriate education options when it comes to learning about our industry and its products," said Judy Blatman, vice president, communications, CRN. "Clearly these healthcare professionals are on the front lines when it comes to being asked questions about dietary supplement products, particularly as consumers are becoming more involved with their own health and wellness regimens and beginning to ask more questions about the products they are using," Blatman told NutraIngredients-USA.com. The grant will allow retail pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to choose either an on-line or in-print version of one or two courses and receive CE credits. The program will be marketed by Drug Store News to pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy schools through a series of promotional emails, postcards and advertisements placed in the publication. "Drug Store News, with their long-standing history of pharmacist education programs, has their pulse on what pharmacists want and need in terms of education and has told us that an update on dietary supplement regulations would be well-received, particularly since the new good manufacturing practices (GMPs) and adverse event reporting (AER) laws were recently passed," explained Blatman. The first home study lesson will be delivered in the April issue of Drug Store News Pharmacy Practice and via an Internet based live webinar to be presented twice in late February. It will be presented by industry consultant Annette Dickinson, Ph.D, and will be entitled, "The Regulation of Dietary Supplements". According to CRN, the lesson will address how dietary supplements are regulated; what pharmacists should know about dietary supplement regulations; what the new good manufacturing practices (GMPs) for dietary supplements mean; what the new adverse event reporting (AER) law means and what procedures should be taken if a pharmacist receives a report; and other upcoming issues relating to regulation of dietary supplements. The second lesson will focus on dietary supplement research and the paradigm of prevention, presenting information on how dietary supplements are being studied by the scientific community and comparing research models for drugs and dietary supplements. The educator for the second home study lesson is still to be determined. "We are pleased that through this grant CRN is supporting the important role pharmacists play in communicating with consumers," said Kimberly Werner, program director, CE Programs, Drug Store News. Expanding the program Blatman told this website that CRN is exploring potential options for the future in order to offer additional educational programs for other healthcare professionals, such as physicians. "According to our new "Life…supplemented" Healthcare Professionals Impact Study, doctors and nurses are interested in further education about dietary supplements," she said. "Our industry needs to take responsibility to educate these important audiences and we encourage individual dietary supplement companies to consider getting involved and developing their own programs aimed at educating healthcare professionals," she said.