The 2nd Annual Blackmore’s Institute Symposium 2015, held in Melbourne late last month, was titled “Translating Research into Practice”.
The speaker line-up was impressive, as their workbook states, “catering for the clinical needs of a wide spectrum of healthcare professionals, including general practitioners, pharmacists, naturopaths, nutritionists and complementary medicine practitioners”.
I was therefore surprised at the current PSA President, being introduced as the first speaker of the Day One.
I listened to a speech about the responsibilities of the pharmacist in selling complementary medicines, the current APF as being the best text on complementary medicines (in spite of the nearby presence of the author of the latest evidence guide), and the clanger of the day – the denigration of the homeopathy modality.
Many attendees were shaking their heads at these outspoken comments that probably reflected these narrow-minded (but medical academia approved) thoughts on this modality.
The first speaker on Day Two was the PGA President.
I’ve been attending conferences on nutritional and herbal medicines across the spectrum for over 40 years and I’m concerned that perceived retail connections between research and sales might be a little too obvious.
Why threaten the independence of the information given to a wide range of health practitioners (of which pharmacists are one only, and indeed, poorly informed on complementary medicines) by preaching pharmacy ideology?
Naturopaths and dieticians, who are prominent in both practitioner and clinical areas, expressed their surprise at the opportunities given to each organization.
How come the Dieticians Association of Australia, The National Herbalists Association of Australia, the Australian Traditional Medicine Society, The Australian Society for Bioregulatory Medicine and the Australian Natural Therapists Association weren’t given equal time to advertise their wares?