Pharmacists key in complementary medicines… but no support for homeopathy

wellness: selection of complementary medicines

The PSA has issued a position statement recognising that complementary medicines may have a role in the management or treatment of some conditions, and that pharmacists are ideally placed to help consumers make informed decisions on their use.

PSA’s Complementary medicines position paper says complementary medicines may be used as an adjunctive therapy with conventional medicines, provided there is evidence to support their use.

National President of the PSA, Joe Demarte, says PSA is committed to supporting pharmacists help consumers make informed decisions regarding complementary medicines and continued to advocate strongly for a partnership approach with consumers to promote the Quality Use of Medicines and responsible self-medication.

“This is a partnership between the pharmacist and the consumer where the pharmacist as the medicines expert can advise on the appropriate use of complementary medicines the consumer may be considering,” Demarte says.

“There is a wealth of information available about complementary medicines which can be confusing and the pharmacist can assist in ensuring that consumers are provided with the best available information about the current evidence for efficacy, as well as information on any potential side effects, drug interactions and risks of harm.

“In the event that a consumer chooses to use a product with limited evidence, the pharmacist must advise the consumer on the risks of rejecting or delaying treatments for which there is good evidence for safety and effectiveness.

“PSA strongly encourages all consumers considering taking complementary medicines to first consult their pharmacist for sound, evidence-based advice.”

Demarte says PSA endorses the NHMRC report, released in March 2015, which found there were no health conditions for which there was reliable evidence that homeopathy was effective.

PSA does not support the sale of homeopathy products in pharmacy.

“Our position is that pharmacists must use their professional judgement to prevent the supply of products with evidence of no effect,” he says.

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  1. Alan Schmukler

    The NHMRC report was a sham and totally contrived. The NHMRC fired the first company contracted to do the research because they found positive results for homeopathy. In France all Pharmacists are required to study homeopathy. Four medical schools offer 4 year post graduate degrees in homeopathy.

    • Maria_MacLachlan

      As someone with a heavy investment in homeopathy, you would say that Alan. But you are wrong. The NHMRC commissioned an independent organisation with expertise in research methodology (The Australasian Cochrane Centre) to review the methods used in the overview and ensure that processes for identifying and assessing the evidence were scientifically rigorous, consistently applied, and clearly documented. You’re on a hiding to nothing on this one, mate.

      • Alan Schmukler

        So you believe the report that homeopathy can’t cure anything or is just placebo? The report was totally contrived. If you’re just against homeopathy, that’s fine. If you’re open to the truth, then read this report and analysis of the the study by the Australian Homeopathic Association. You’ll see that the NHMRC used every trick in the book to find negative for homeopathy. And why do you suppose the NHMRC did this very conscious effort at deception?

        • Maria_MacLachlan

          I know homeopathy doesn’t work beyond placebo because that’s what the totality of available evidence tells us. I’d already read the report by those who, like you, are heavily invested in homeopathy and it is total garbage.

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