A recent headline in medical newsletters stating 'Pharmacists reluctant to give up on homeopathy' misrepresents the public position of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, the peak professional organisation representing pharmacists across Australia.
The newsletter reports made no reference to the publicly stated position of the Society following the release last week of a review by the National Health and Medical Research Council which found there were no health conditions for which there was reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective.
National President of the PSA, Grant Kardachi, said PSA welcomed the release of the review which clearly highlighted the need for pharmacists to advise consumers of the dangers of choosing homeopathy over evidence-based medicine.
"On release of this report we stated clearly and publicly that we are of the view consumers may put their health at risk if they reject or delay treatments for which there is good evidence for safety and effectiveness," Mr Kardachi said.
"The NHMRC report underscores the need for consumers to consult their pharmacists when seeking appropriate treatments for their conditions.
"I reiterate what we said publicly on release of the report that pharmacists are obliged to advise such people that there are treatments and therapies they can choose which are based on the best available evidence.
"PSA's Code of Ethics, which is endorsed by the Pharmacy Board of Australia, states the health and wellbeing of the consumer is a pharmacist's first priority."
Mr Kardachi said he was confident any pharmacies stocking homeopathic products would reassess their position following the release of the NHMRC report.
"Pharmacists are skilled medicine experts and the NHMRC report will help to reinforce their clinical expertise in regard to decisions over homeopathy products.
"PSA is not a regulatory body and cannot force pharmacists to remove products from sale however the NHMRC report provides unequivocal evidence that when dealing with homeopathy products pharmacists must consider not only their interaction with patients but also what stock is to be held within the pharmacy."