Why do Pharmacists Suggest Alternative Medicine

Why do Pharmacists Suggest Alternative Medicine

27th September 2016

When someone is in need of free and reliable health care, they often visit their local pharmacy. A pharmacy is run by knowledgeable pharmacists who serve people with health issues by advising them the right medication to cure their illness or any other sort of health issue.

It is the duty of a pharmacist to have well rounded knowledge in the field of medication and to offer the medicine that is best suited for a specific health condition and individual. More often than not, this is not the case. These days, even the health industry has become a full-fledged business which seems to have plagued the entire world.

The issues that prevail in the pharmaceutical industry

Since pharmacies are treated like business ventures, it has to be able to generate profit, and if this is the objective of paramount importance, then how do they intend on serving people with what’s best for their health.

It is a vicious cycle that has engulfed not only the common people but also the insiders, in this case, the pharmacists. This gives rise to a conflict of interest. On one hand, they have to fulfill their duty and dispense medication responsibly and on the other hand, they have to increase sales of products as their income relies on it. 

Pharmacies are leveraging complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) by expanding their domain into health products retail stores also. It is highly questionable whether these complementary and alternative medicines even seem to have any effect on a particular health condition since most of these products lack scientific backing and even their safety is in question. This has raised eyebrows on the integrity and reliability of pharmacists. 

All the products that are sold by pharmacies are not ineffective. Some do add value but most of the complementary and alternative medicines and products make dubious claims. It would have been a slightly different scenario if the pharmacist was just an employee with a wage but what fuels this issue even further is that in many cases it has been found that the pharmacist is the boss and his sole intention is to maximize the sales of his products. Such pharmacists tempt their employees by offering them a share of the profit made by increased sales of such (CAM) products.

Did you know?

There are many pharmacies which offer medical guidance by studying the prescriptions of patients. This is done by the head pharmacist who, in most cases happens to be the boss. He then informs his subordinates about the patient and tells them to offer advice to the patient.

The advice would obviously consist of the recommendation of these (CAM) medicines. Since the advice comes from a person in a white coat, it makes it rather more believable to patients. Despite the fact that the majority of pharmacists are poorly educated, it does not really matter to the employer since the employer is eventually going to train theses pharmacists to sell their own products anyway.

This raises a question about the morals and ethics of pharmacists in general. Though not all pharmacists are alike, the majority of them support quackery. 

Maintaining regulation

The best way to counteract this issue is to have a certified health regulatory body keep a check on pharmacies. What gives these therapeutic goods companies, wings is that they do not have to have their products tested or certified.  They just have to be listed.

Unlike registered products or medication, these (CAM) products do not bare labels or warnings, so they give the consumer a false impression without making any claims. 

This makes the consumer perceive the product as not harmful. They think that the product will either work or not work but won’t cause any potential harm. The brands that manufacture complementary and alternative medicines capitalize on this factor to maximize sales. 

Providing labels on every product should be made mandatory and even the efficacy of every product should be stated. These are regulations to be made by the certified health regulatory body. If such regulations are maintained, it will bring a significant change and help deal with these persisting malpractices.

Tapping into the root cause

There is no use in sending public messages just like saying “Cigarette smoking is injurious to health”. It does not help. The only effective way of exercising control is by getting to the root cause of the matter. You find a solution by counteracting the part that is creating the problem.

If such malpractices have to be stopped, tighter regulation has to be maintained. If these companies are bound to follow certain protocol such as labeling, stating warnings and efficacy, then the pharmacists will be bound to do the same. 

The people have the right to be well informed. Consumers also should be more aware and should educate themselves about the medicines and health supplements they consume. They should be aware of what gets into their body. Then only can they make sound decisions about what to and what not to ingest. By ensuring such practices, it will make significant changes to such issues relating to the pharmaceutical industry.

 

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