Am I missing something?

Old chestnuts aren’t allowed to settle.
Unbalanced pharmacy media reporting just keeps on keeping on.

I was puzzled recently about a debate around the value of homeopathy in the UK. 
The report keeps the pot boiling on how homeopathic remedies are a “waste of money” and more importantly, “may even cause harm”.

More fascinating to me was the same amount of space in this Australian pharmacy publication allocated to these following issues:

  • Combined administration of antidepressants and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories are associated with an increased risk of intracranial haemorrhage within thirty days of initial combination.

  • Liver toxicity with paracetamol “danger” (their word, not mine) where one in five paracetamol-related liver injuries reported to Canada Vigilance mentioned doses within the recommended range of less than 4G a day.

  • High school students in China (might it be happening here?) use pain relievers as the most abused prescription drugs, followed by stimulants, tranquillizers and sedatives.

I therefore pose the following questions:

  • Why are there not the same levels of patient concern in these three aspects of health where each of us might be very closely involved?

  • Where are our public expressions of drug safety in the pharmacy media with respect to these issues? The comments? The “Letters to the Editor” reassuring Australians that we are the responsible health practitioners to monitor this stuff?

  • Why did we get so publicly hysterical about the homeopathic debate when this “may even cause harm” statement can’t be substantiated? Were professional issues the fault of the modality, or the fault of the practitioner?

These four aspects of health were reported on the one day.
I wonder where our priorities actually lie.

One response to “Am I missing something?”

  1. This and the mention above re having to display and sell various useless and/or proven harmful – on proper non-corrupted evidence based research – products, and see nightly, and probably daily as well, proven dangerous analgesics touted for infants for mild discomfort, is horrendous, and extremely disappointing that FSM et al, TGA, and pharmacists and consumer groups say and do nothing. Outcry re something as harmless as Homeopathy, irridology, reiki, acupuncture, or even Chiropractic decries intelligence. First do no harm has long been forgotten and removed from the Hippocratic Oath, which has itself long been removed from medical graduation ceremonies. What all the sceptics, and the Skeptiks too, need to stop and remember that medicine is the first choice for most, and when it fails, clients look elsewhere for help. When they find it cheaply, get often dramatic results, with no cascade of side-effects, from someone who listens to their concerns, then they go back in future. Result, lost active patient to the GP. Hence the outcry and smear campaign. Not concern re the patient, concern through lost income as per the $6000 egg above.

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