‘Of course CMs should be sold in pharmacies.’

Pharmacies are the ideal place to sell complementary medicines, Guild President George Tambassis said today

Complementary medicines have been a hot topic at this year’s APP, with more than one stakeholder condemning a recent Four Corners episode which attacked community pharmacy for supplying them.

At this morning’s panel session Mr Tambassis told the audience that panel chair Stephen King should not have appeared on the program.

“It’s not realistic, for Professor Stephen King to even make comments on a show like that pretending to be an independent review of community pharmacy.

“It was crazy, outrageous.

“Of course CMs should be sold in pharmacies, it’s the best place to get advice.

“I was interviewed for that program for an hour but was only featured for a few minutes,” he added.

“Pharmacies are the best places patients can access CMs, of course we support evidence-based ones but patients are going to buy them, pharmacists can provide the right advice and pharmacists don’t judge their patients.”

Four Corners also came under fire at a Clinical Bites session on micronutrients yesterday.

And Guild national councillor David Heffernan told the AJP yesterday that Professor King’s assertions on the program, as well as his understanding of CMs and evidence, was flawed.

Professor King had told Four Corners that by selling homeopathic products to a hypothetical young mother, pharmacists gave credence to any potential decision to use homeopathic “vaccination”. This was not a realistic claim, Mr Heffernan said.

“Irony: pharmacists accused of profiting from non-evidence based medicine, yet King suggests selling one homeopathic medicine could lead to patient purchasing homeopathic vaccines. He made this up. No evidence. Tax payers expect evidence based policy!

“So what CAN pharmacists sell? Do we need a double blind placebo study on butter menthols? There is an public expectation on what we should sell.”

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