A review of the matter in Australia proposes to do what the United States should have done long ago, which is to ban the sale of homeopathic products that make health claims that are not supported by scientific evidence for their effectiveness.
Pharmacies that dispense PBS medicines should be banned from selling homeopathic products, according to the interim King review.
The products pose “unacceptable” risks to patients, according the interim report from the so-called King Review of Australian pharmacy, made public on Thursday.
The report disputes claims homeopathic products are harmless and sometimes useful as a placebo, saying they pose a risk to patients who may choose one over a conventional treatment.
Led by economist Professor Stephen King, the review cites a 2015 NHMRC assessment which found there were no health conditions for which evidence supports homeopathic treatments.
The report also raised concerns about the way complementary medicines were being sold in some pharmacies.
“Clearly, community pharmacists can play a valuable role in advising consumers on the potential health benefits or dangers of using complementary medicines,” it said.
“[But we remain] concerned that consumers may be misled about the value of complementary medicines in the absence of appropriate evidence-based advice at the point of sale.”
I don’t understand why this is at all controversial. Yes, pharmacists are enormously influential in guiding people to make medical decisions. That means no pharmacist should be allowed to operate if they sell fake treatments and cures for actual medical conditions. If a product makes any claim whatsoever about efficacy in improving one’s health, or treating any condition, they should have to go through exactly the same process the FDA puts prescription drugs through. And if they can’t meet that standard, they shouldn’t be allowed to sell it.