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Survey: Supplement users fear Rx drugs - Category News - dietary supplements - Brief Article - Polling Data - Statistical Data Included

Survey: Supplement users fear Rx drugs - Category News - dietary supplements - Brief Article - Polling Data - Statistical Data IncludedWHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- As many as one-third of dietary supplement users may shun the use of prescription drugs because they fear potential side effects, according to a recent survey from Hartman Interactive, a Bellevue, Wash.-based market research and consulting firm.

In addition, of the 3,226 respondents drawn from's database, 25 percent said they stayed away from prescription drug therapy because they don't think prescription drugs are safe.

Among those surveyed, 67 percent said they took supplements to maintain optimum general health." Other common conditions for which respondents said they took dietary supplements included: preventing colds (53 percent), treating osteoarthritis (39 percent), increasing energy (37 percent), reducing cholesterol levels (29 percent), preventing cancer (28 percent), managing allergies (27 percent) and weight management (25 percent). More than one-half said they used supplements to treat as many as five or more conditions.

Only 36 percent of respondents had used a prescription medication to treat or prevent a condition for which they also used a supplement.

The survey demonstrated that drug makers must reconsider their strategy to reach supplement users. It certainly isn't a matter of cost that keeps supplement users from using prescription drugs. Only 4 percent said prescription drugs were "not affordable."

The survey also asked supplement users to rate the branded supplements they use. The perceived quality of the ingredients in the brands they choose was found to be the most important determinant of a consumer's overall satisfaction.

Top 10 reasons for using dietary supplements

General health 67%
Colds 53%
Osteoarthrits 39%
Energy enhancement 37%
Cholesterol lowering 29%
Cancer prevention 28%
Allergy 27%
Weight management 25%
Memory impairment 21%
Osteoporosis 21%

Note: Table made from bar graph
Top 10 conditions treated with Rx drugs and dietary supplements

Asthma 87%
High blood pressure 69%
Allergy 67%
Migraine 65%
Cancer treatment 61%
Male erection dysfunction 55%
Depression 51%
Rheumatoid arthritis 51%
Heartburn/G.I. reflux 49%
Anxiety 47%