Doctors and pharmacists clash over complementary medicines
October 4, 2015
The Pharmacy Council is trying to change part of its Code of Ethics: Here is the old code:
6.9 Only purchase, supply or promote any medicine, complementary therapy, herbal remedy or other healthcare product where there is no reason to doubt its quality or safety and when there is credible evidence of efficacy.
And the proposed new one:
6.9b Only supply any complementary therapy or other healthcare product where there is no reason to doubt its quality or safety and when sufficient information about the product can be provided in order for the purchaser to make an informed choice with regard to the risks and benefits of all the available treatment options.
The NZ Skeptics have prepared a submission, and asked people to visit pharmacies to gather evidence about how they sell homeopathy:
As part of this, I visited 9 pharmacies and heard some pretty bad claims. Others were told a lot of bad things:
"It brings the body back into homeostasis"
"I have had a number of people tell me it really helped"
"When asked if they were as effective, she said that it has to do with your belief system."
"When asked how the homeopathic remedy that she could order in for me works she said that it would help my body to heal itself"
Pharmacy Council chairman Dr Andrew Bary said the rules as they stood were "unworkable" and many pharmacists, including himself, were already selling complementary medicines, even if they didn't believe their claims.
The Society for Science Based Healthcare has also prepared a submission (opens new window)