A Professional Conundrum

What a fascinating standoff has developed over the role of the pharmacist in advising on the use of complementary medicines.
The Blackmore’s Institute is urging us to understand the complete medication profile of our patients, to ensure that we drive optimum health outcomes.
Many of our patients fail to mention their complementary medicine use (often because of the denigrating comments made by their GP).

And I agree with the Institute’s sentiments! I’ve always maintained that we play a role in anything – food or supplement – used in combination with a prescribed or over-the-counter medciation.

We are in the privileged position of being able to help the consumer understand any nutritional deficiencies (and there are heaps of them) being caused by their prescribed medicines.

Two thirds of Australians take some sort of complementary medicine.
Half of these people buy their complementary medicines from a pharmacy.

The Institutes insists that the pharmacist is uniquely placed to discuss polypharmacy, including complementary medicines, with consumers to enhance patient outcomes.

Now comes my conundrum……

In the meantime, the Amcal group are encouraging their pharmacists to stay away from complementary medicines, according to pharmacy media reports.

PSA have predictably supported Amcal’s stance but I wonder who is really pulling the strings there?

PSA claims that promotion of naturopathy could harm the pharmacy profession!

What evidence is there, other than that from sources with a vested interest in spreading the perception.

This evidence debate is starting to get out of proportion.
I find it interesting that many big Pharma companies are paying heavy fines for dodgy claims based on biased research.
They are reported publicly, but get very little cover in the media that relies on income from advertising.

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