CM sellers are ‘irresponsible shopkeepers,’ says UK expert

spoonful of vitamins

A UK expert has slammed pharmacists selling unproven complementary medicines as “irresponsible shopkeepers” focused on profit.

Edzard Ernst, Emeritus Professor, Exeter University, wrote in MJA Perspective yesterday that while integrative medicine is frequently described as the “best of both worlds”—because it comprises both conventional and alternative/complementary medicine—the concept is “ill-conceived”.

When contacted by AJP Prof Ernst said that pharmacists should not get involved with integrative medicine.

“Pharmacists have an ethical obligation to adhere to the rules of evidence-based practice,” he says.

“Selling bogus products is a violation of their very own ethical code.

“I have the feeling that many do not want to understand the issues because they make good money this way.”

A recent ABC Background Briefing featured Friends of Science in Medicine’s Ken Harvey, who told the ABC’s Ann Arnold that CMs are “a triumph of hype over science… There’s very limited evidence to support the claims that are made.”

Prof Ernst told the AJP that he agrees with this assessment.

“But it is also a triumph of irresponsible shopkeepers over responsible healthcare professionals.

“All that is needed is that they abide by the rules they have created for their profession and stop putting money before ethics.”

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  1. kingswaycompounding

    “expert” in what??? Integrative medicine is good medicine. How arrogant….o but wait… fiends of medicine sorry “friends of medicine”…… well that says it all!

  2. Anthony

    Discussing a precarious field of pharmacy in a general manner, which has had so much evidence behind it, is irresponsible in itself. To put up a wall and state that pharmacists aren’t competent enough to suggest complementary medicine is very offensive. He is however correct that there are a lot of grey areas, conflicting evidence and pharmacists who are out to make another dollar, especially these days with PBS cuts. This definitely needs to be reviewed.

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