Spotlight falls on homeopathic remedies


Pharmacist Carolyn Glazier.
Picture: Will Russell    d471158
Pharmacist Carolyn Glazier. Picture: Will Russell d471158

HOMEOPATHIC remedies are in the spotlight, with a national review of pharmacy operations wanting to see them taken off chemist shelves.

The review is also concerned about current price discrepancies between chemist outlets for PBS medications.

The review’s interim report is open for public comment until July 23 and author Stephen King chose to give options for reform rather than draft recommendations.

Carolyn Glazier is a pharmacist for Gerald Burns Pharmacy at Melville Plaza and says while homeopathic medications are never recommended by the Melville outlet, the pharmacy stocks some treatments because customers find them useful.

“We have a small amount because there are a few people who use them,” Dr Glazier said.

“We will say it’s got no evidence above a placebo.”

Rescue Remedy was a popular example, purchased by people experiencing stress or anxiety but, as a pharmacist, Dr Glazier would rather offer treatments with biochemical evidence to support their effectiveness.

She said homeopathic treatments could possibly be useful for some people because the products did not appear to have negative side effects.

“It is not a valid scientific approach but does work on the psychology for some people,” she said.

The pharmacy would voluntarily take homeopathic products off the shelf if needed.

She said five of the staff were also trained in environmental and nutritional medicine to provide customers an holistic approach.

In a media statement, Australian Homeopathic Association’s secretary Petrina Reichman labelled the review as “scaremongering”.

She said popular natural treatments for medical conditions such as hay fever, stress, insomnia, joint aches and cough would be stripped from pharmacy shelves if the findings of the report were adopted by Australia’s Health Department.

To comment on the interim report, visit consultations.health.gov.au/pbd-pharmacy-review/submissions.

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