Tag Archives: pharmacy

A comic for Pharmacy Awareness Week 2019

I’m thrilled to work in partnership with the Quebec Order of Pharmacists (OPQ) for Pharmacy Awareness Week 2019!

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.

The objective 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 🙂

The comic was created for pharmacists and for the public. In other words, it’s yours. Here’s a link to the PDF version (8.5 x 11″; includes a 0.25″ bleed). Upon request, I can also provide you with a ultra-HD version, which you could print on giant canvas for display on cliffs, skyscrapers, etc.

If you’d like to use it outside of Quebec, please let us know, I’m sure we can figure something out 🙂

A huge thank you to OPQ, to all pharmacists and pharmacy staff members, and to all of you for your interest in this project!

The endless cycle of bad excuses for selling homeopathic products in pharmacies

An investigation by the McGill Office for Science and Society reveals that 2/3 of pharmacies in Montreal sell oscillococcinum, a homeopathic product more diluted than the equivalent of an atom in an entire Universe filled with water:


https://mcgill.ca/oss/article/health-quackery/two-thirds-montreal-pharmacies-sell-quack-flu-buster

Are you surprised?

I’m not.

Back in Sept. 2012, when I started Le Pharmachien (the original French version of The Pharmafist), my first post ever was a sarcastic video about homeopathy, and about how absurd it is that we sell these products.

Since then, not much has changed. We still use the same fake arguments to justify ourselves.

“IT’S POPULAR, CLIENTS ASK FOR IT, AND THEY’RE SATISFIED!”

What difference does it make if it’s popular or not? Healthcare and science are not popularity contests.

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.

There are tons of examples, but here’s one from Canada :

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/tamara-lovett-holistic-medicine-trial-1.3869951

“IT’S A GOOD PLACEBO!”

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.

So, who will be first?

P.S. Oh by the way, I’d like to salute the Quebec Order of Pharmacists, who stated, in response to the McGill investigation, that a pharmacist who recommends homeopathy by claiming that it is effective would “place oneself in a situation of disciplinary misconduct”. BOOM!

5 Bad Tips About Sugar

5 bad tips about sugar (header)

Look like sugar has become public enemy #1.

Some of the newfound concerns are completely justified, but some are not. Actually, it’s become one of these black-or-white craze, where one website tells you to cut all sugar from your diet, whereas another one claims it’s harmless.

And to tell the truth, I’m kind of pissed off about everything we’ve learned regarding the industry in the last few years, so I agree that something has to change.

(And as it happens, I’m especially irritated by the whole juicing fad, which is totally related to this, although most people don’t realize it.)

Obviously, a single comic strip can’t cover the whole subject, but I’ve selected 5 common beliefs that, I think, come from a poor understanding of the core issues we’re facing here.

Nope, you won’t have to go sugar-free (or keto).

But yep, you may have to rethink how you eat quite a bit.

Many thanks to Catherine Lefebvre, registered dietitian, for inspiring and reviewing this comic!

Translated by Patricia Rainville; proofread by Stéphanie Alcaraz-Robinson.

 

 

5 bad tips about sugar (title)

 

Don't eat too much fruit, it's full of sugar (1)

Don't eat too much fruit, it's full of sugar (2)

 

 

Choose your sugar wisely and natural

Choose your sugar wisely like agave maple honey

 

 

Skip dessert

 

 

 

 

Fat is more damaging to your health than sugarBig sugar strategies 1

 

 

Sugar recommended daily intake

Sugary drinks at the pharmacy

P.S. This comic is NOT AT ALL an endorsement of the ketogenic or low-carb-high-fat (LCHF) diets. Both are ill-advised for most people. Too much sugar OR too much fat isn’t a good idea; that’s the whole point of a balanced, plant-rich diet (e.g. the Mediterranean diet).

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5 lies about detox and toxins

5 deceits about detox and toxins (header)

Have you heard about toxins? 

I know a few. Let’s see: snake venom, the botulinum toxin, the tetanus toxin… well, that’s it. I can’t name any more of them. 

Unfortunately, the word “toxin” has entered the popular language and is now used for pretty much anything: pollutants, heavy metals, fecal matter, microbes, gluten… hell, even stress supposedly generates toxins. 

According to some shady individuals, toxins are everywhere. They also talk about “metabolic waste” that accumulates and must be eliminated from our bodies; otherwise it’ll make us sick. 

At the holistic shop (and at the pharmacy, sadly), you’ll find a range of products that promise to eliminate these toxins and “clean up the system.” They often carry statements such as: 

  • Detox
  • Cleanse
  • Internal cleansing program
  • Supports a healthy liver
  • Protects and eliminates liver congestion
  • Promotes fat burning and weight loss (yeah, because that’s the real goal)
  • Etc. 

Manufacturers of these products make a fortune after the holiday season as they manage to convince people that they must “find balance after this period of excess“. 

Unfortunately, detox is a huge scam. So-called “cleanses” contain nothing but obscure herbal mixtures with no real purpose, as well as diuretics and laxatives that make you go to the toilet more frequently. Sounds like fun, huh? 

For educational purposes, let’s laugh a little at these ridiculous products. Let’s also examine the key deceits their manufacturers use to extort money from people. All statements found below were taken directly from their websites.

Translation by Olivier Bernard, proofreading by Lauren Knight.

 

5 deceits about detox and toxins (intro)

 

Toxins and pollutants exist since the industrial revolution

Life expectancy and health in the past and today

 

You must cleanse your system after the holiday season

 

Toxins prevents vitamins and nutrients from being absorbed

What naturopaths say about cleanses

 

 

You must help your organs to eliminate toxins and waste

My test to assess whether your organs are functioning or not

 

Food and waste accumulates in the intestines

Detox cleanses contain laxatives
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