For the occasion, I’ve created a comic that will be distributed to pharmacies throughout Quebec and provided to clients who come in for a new prescription.
is to explain what happens while one waits for their medication, which is a
total mystery for most people! Ultimately, the goal is to demystify the work of
pharmacists, and to show what we do – and can do – for the public.
I like the idea of learning without realizing it, hence the absurd visual metaphors. I hope people will receive the comic in the waiting room and be like “What is that?!“. This sounds like a good starting point 🙂
If people want to buy homeopathy, fine. But our role as pharmacists is to provide advice and care based on scientific evidence. When homeopathic products are sold in pharmacies, it gives the false impression that we endorse them.
Interestingly, most pharmacists don’t trust homeopathic products at all… but are stuck with them on the shelves. It’s a problem.
“AT LEAST THERE’S NO RISK!”
Not true. If people neglect to seek medical care because they trust homeopathy, it’s extremely hazardous.
ALL healthcare interventions generate a placebo effect: medications, surgeries, exams, talking to patients… These interventions are supported by scientific evidence, and have a placebo effect as a BONUS.
Meanwhile, homeopathic products are 100% placebo, but pretend otherwise on their labeling and are sold at ridiculously high price tags. How is that acceptable?
Also, by opposition to what most people think, from a pharmacy owner’s perspective, it’s not “money-related”; margins are low and associated profits are negligible (in my experience, 80-90% of profits in a typical pharmacy come from prescription drugs). Who’s making money, then? Manufacturers.
At the end of the day, those who could really make a difference blame each other and make bad excuses in an endless cycle. This graph summarizes the situation:
Will someone ever take responsibility for the problem?
Let’s be clear: Health Canada will not stop approving these products. Some countries have set limits, but none has officially banned them. So we have to stop waiting for them to make a move.
In my opinion, the simplest solution is that a pharmacy chain takes a stand and announces that it will no longer sell homeopathic products. With a bit of luck, others will eventually follow.