What Pharmacists should do less and more

2 September 2020

The debate on complementary medicines is often so polarised that to date it’s been hard to move forward, says one pharmacy researcher who has created an ethical framework for the sector.

The University of Queensland School of Pharmacy's Dr Adam La Caze has looked at the ethical challenges for pharmacists posed by the sale of complementary medicines – many of which lack a substantial evidence base – and how pharmacists can improve their use.

Alongside UQ’s Amber Salman Popattia, Dr La Caze has published 'An ethical framework for the responsibilities of pharmacists when selling complementary medicines' in Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy.

“The discussion so far gets stuck in two extreme points of view – and we need a kind of gateway between those two,” Dr La Caze told the Australian Journal of Pharmacy.

One stance is that “unless you’ve got perfect large-scale randomised trials, we can’t possibly have them in pharmacy” while the other, he says, is “We have no obligation whatsoever – we’re just sales people”.

“I think the way the discussion ends up is always between those two – and there’s somewhere in between where we can act to resolve some of the conflicts,” he says.

“They come up, but no-one tries to resolve them.

“This is a deliberate attempt to resolve some of those conflicts.”

Read the full interview on AJP