Pharmacists recommending alternative meds with no scientific evidence
St John's Wart, one of the options offered by chemists to help relieve stress
A CHOICE study has found many Australian pharmacists are recommending alternative medicines that have little to no scientific evidence to prove their effectiveness.
The consumer advocacy group got mystery shoppers to visit 240 pharmacies and ask the pharmacist if they could recommend anything to help relieve stress.
“When a pharmacist was asked if there was something they could recommend for stress, worryingly 26 per cent of pharmacists recommended products based on Bach flower remedies and 3 per cent recommended homoeopathic products, for which there is no evidence of effectiveness,” said CHOICE Head of Media, Tom Godfrey.
Products containing a B group vitamin complex, for which there is some evidence it may help says CHOICE, were the most commonly recommended products with 46 per cent of pharmacists suggesting them.
“Other frequently recommended products were St John’s Wort (11 per cent) and Valerian (15 per cent). However, there is no good evidence they help with stress, though valerian may help with stress-related insomnia,” Godfrey said.
For 59 per cent of shoppers, assurance that the product works was given without any suggestion of supporting evidence and 24 per cent were told the recommended product scientifically works.
“Pharmacists enjoy a huge level of trust from the community and the industry is a strong advocate for its role in Australia’s health care system. It’s deeply concerning that the explanation for the recommendations were often vague and lacked scientific evidence to support their effectiveness,” Godfrey said.
CHOICE recommends pharmacists should seek more information about consumers symptoms, recommend evidence-based solutions and advise consumers to visit doctors if appropriate.
- Supermarkets sure to move into pharmacy with recommended changes in competition law
- Australianpharmacies under fire over Dietary Supplement deal
- Coles sells online medicines business
- Most Australian vitamins sold frompharmacies, not supermarkets
A new study out of the University of Sydney has discovered why artificial sweeteners can make both h...
Australia’s largest beer group Coopers Brewery, has completed another year with record sales of 81.5...
Woolworths is turning around faster than expected says a new UBS report.
South Australian pickled food producer Spring Gully Foods has cleared the debts that almost forced t...
The Australian Federal Government has said it has no intentions of introducing a tax on sugary drink...
The Woolworths Group has appointed a new Managing Director for its drinks business.
Nestle has confirmed it has sold its US confectionery business to Ferrero for US $2.8 billion (AUD $...
SEE the winners and losers of this year's Fame and Shame Awards, the 14th annual highlighting of "ju...