The alternative medicine company has issued a letter in response to overwhelmingly negative results

AJP’s online poll, ‘The Naturopathy Debate’, was run after concerns were raised publicly about pharmacy’s role in supplying naturopathic products and services.

Results showed a huge response against pharmacies stocking complementary and alternative medicine (CAMs). Most recently 63% of respondents said they did not stock CAMs as ‘there’s no evidence they work’.

Nigel Pollard, CEO of Soho Flordis International that sells a wide range of CAMs including Prospan and Premular, has written a letter to the AJP in response:

“The complementary and alternative medicine (CAMs) sector and its role in healthcare management continues to be hotly debated by the media. Rather than dissuade this debate, we actively encourage this discussion, as it shines a light on many issues which need to be addressed.

“Of priority is the point that not all complementary and alternative medicine products are equal.

“As in many media articles, an incredibly wide spectrum of products are grouped under the label of ‘CAMs’.

“Products with specific clinical evidence, high-quality manufacturing processes and transparency on the sourcing of ingredients are not clearly identified from products without these qualities. Consumers and healthcare professionals are unable to distinguish this difference due to a lack of clear labelling.

“We agree with calls for CAMs products to be more thoroughly assessed, beyond being simply classified as ‘safe’. Healthcare professionals and consumers deserve this information and are indeed asking for it.

“Consumers are aware of the impact of their choices and that their demand drives industry change. History is littered with recent examples where consumer awareness has changed the marketplace for the better. Consumer-driven change in the CAMs industry IS possible, it just needs to be supported.

“The Australian CAMs industry needs to increase healthcare professional and consumer education on the importance of evidence-based CAM products; on what ‘evidence-based’ means and what this difference delivers.

“Our Flordis products are medicines designed to address specific health issues and should be considered as such. For this a proper diagnosis and a broad offering of advice is vital for consumers (or patients); and therefore a trusted healthcare professional needs to be involved in the management of their health.

“Healthcare professionals are key to helping their patients understand that not all CAMs or natural medicine products are equal. Flordis products are not interchangeable with others. Our products which include seemingly similar ingredients will not necessarily deliver the same result.

“It takes time to change the way people see CAMs and natural medicines – but it is of inherent value for the consumer. Something, we believe, is integral to the future of the industry.”