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NZMA disappointed in position on alternative medicines

NZMA disappointed in Pharmacy Code of Ethics position on alternative medicines

The New Zealand Medical Association is disappointed that the Pharmacy Council has weakened its stand on selling non-evidence based products.

“The latest version of the Pharmacy Code of Ethics, released yesterday, permits pharmacists to supply complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) that have no current evidence of proven efficacy,” says NZMA Chair Dr Kate Baddock. “This is particularly serious given the lack of regulation in this area, now that the Natural Products Bill has been dropped from the Parliamentary agenda.

“The proposed Bill was a ‘backstop’, which meant that pharmacists could rely on the regulator to consider evidence and quality. This will no longer happen.

“The latest Pharmacy Code of Ethics has removed the previous requirement for credible evidence of efficacy. We were led to believe this would be addressed in the CAM statement that sits alongside the Code, but this has not happened. So the final versions of both the Code and the Statement are even weaker than the versions originally consulted on.

“Evidence-based medicine is a key tenet of the medical profession’s Code of Ethics, maintained by the NZMA. It is most disappointing that our colleagues in the pharmacy profession do not share this.”

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