Poll: Do you stock CMs in your pharmacy?

Let us know if you do—and why or why not—in this anonymous poll

You’ve probably seen the stories about pharmacists stocking complementary and alternative medicines plastered all over the news this past week – first on Channel Nine, then on ABC’s Four Corners and various websites including the AJP.

While the vitamins and supplements industry argues that it’s perfectly okay for pharmacists to stock them, many doctors, academics and consumer groups have spoken out against the practice.

We want to know whether you stock complementary medicines and why/why not.

Perhaps you do, but let your customers know that there is limited evidence for their efficacy.

You may believe customers are going to buy them from somewhere (the supermarket, servo or even a vending machine) – so it might as well be from you.

Or alternatively, you have decided to take a stand and get rid of them altogether.

Let us know how you handle CMs in the anonymous poll below.

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NOTICE: It can sometimes take awhile for comment submissions to go through, please be patient.


  1. Ian Carr

    As a pro-evidence campaigner, my policies are: 1. Stickers and signs which explain that TGA approved claims have not been verified. 2. I won’t stock CMs with no plausibility e.g. homeopathy, magnet therapy. 3. When a customer asks a CM question, such as “does Saw Palmetto work for prostate?”, I provide a readout from Natural Medicines Database, and discuss the issues. This rarely results in a sale, but builds a great deal of trust! 4. I don’t support the repeating of ancient myths like “multivitamins are good insurance” . 5. I try to counsel about diet and lifestyle using the excellent resources of Self Care and Better Health (Victoria). 6. I support the true NATURAL way: it’s better to eat well that swallow pills; its easier to lose weight through exercise than praying that Fat Blaster might work; it’s a bad lesson to tell your kids that lollies are medicine e.g. Vita Gummies. 7 It’s all about risk and benefit. If there’s no benefit at all, then any risk is too great!

  2. Jason Revell

    I think commentators should stay on issue: CAM’s, CM’s, pseudo-medicines or what ever learned people prefer to call them are claimed to lack significant credible evidence. Efficacy, potentially, proclaimed or otherwise is irrelevant to the core theme of recent media enquiries. The point is evidence not efficacy.
    Whether you stock CM’s is a practitioner-independent decision as implied by AHPRA, PSA, Pharmacy Board guidelines and is based on evidence by which that practitioner stands.

    Important issues raised by the media enquiry that ought to be considered:

    1. King clearly has expressed many opinions on issues in which he should remain impartial, at least until his review is complete. His apparent bias potentially invalidates the entire review and wastes public funds best directed to pressing health related issues including the NDIS and indigenous health. Further, King may be commenting beyond the terms of reference of the enquiry if media footage is to be taken as presented.
    I think King may be an economist, not a health expert?

    2. The AMA are primarily a political machine and “exists to promote and protect the professional interests of doctors” (AMA website). The AMA have a long history of demonstrating against pharmacy; this agenda should not be ignored.
    Off-label prescribing often lacks significant credible evidence including safety data. Perhaps the AMA may also reflect upon this within the CM enquiry?

    3. Explanations of Choice ‘shopper’ processes excluded the revelation that pharmacists may have been dramatically impressed by premeditated and calculated scripted dialogue and the psychology that this entails. Does duress alter the weight of Choice’s evidence?

    Just a thought…

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