Plan to market dietary supplements alongside medication axed

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 10th October 2011

A controversial partnership allowing Australian pharmacists to market dietary supplements alongside medication at point-of-sale has been axed.

Last month, Australian Food News reported on the partnership between the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and Australian dietary supplement manufacturer Blackmores coming under fire from the Australian Medical Association.

In a statement just released, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia said its decision to withdraw the partnership was made “in view of the strong level of public concern about the proposal, based on some media reporting of the endorsement which was ill-informed and inflammatory”.

National President of the Guild, Kos Sclavos said, “The Gold Cross endorsement arrangement with Blackmores was entered in good faith, with absolutely no intention of undermining the professionalism and integrity of participating pharmacists. The idea that community pharmacists would take part in commercial “upselling” without regard to their professional standards is offensive to our profession and rejected by the Guild.”

“We have now agreed with Blackmores that the furore that has been created is doing damage, and must be dealt with before it further damages community pharmacists and the patients they serve. The only alternative is to cancel the endorsement, and this has been done. I add my personal apologies for any distress this has caused to pharmacists,” Mr Sclavo said.