Monday, July 21, 2008

Pharmacists urged to 'tell the truth' about homeopathic remedies

From the Guardian (UK):
Britain's leading pharmacists' organisation is being urged to crack down on high street chemists that sell homeopathic remedies, amid accusations that they are in breach of their own ethical guidelines.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has been asked to take action following allegations that pharmacists are failing to give customers proper information about the shortcomings of homeopathic treatments before they buy them.

In an open letter to the society, Edzard Ernst, the country's only professor of complementary medicine, criticises high street pharmacists for selling homeopathic remedies without informing customers that they contain no biologically active agents and are no more effective than sugar pills.

The ethical code states that pharmacists who sell homeopathic remedies, herbal medicines or other complementary therapies, "must assist patients in making informed decisions" by providing them with "necessary and relevant information".

According to the letter, "customers are frequently misinformed ... by promotional material available in UK pharmacies and verbal advice given by pharmacists. Thus pharmacists breach their own mandatory ethical code on a daily basis." ...more

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