November 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Health Blog

According to Andrew Bracey (Medical Observer, 21.11.11): 

“CONSUMER trust in pharmacists has taken a significant hit following the recent reporting of deals with pharmaceutical manufacturers involving payments for health advice and product recommendations.

Researchers surveyed over 300 consumers who were aware of recent media reports about deals such as the now scrapped scheme that was to have seen pharmacy staff spruik the Blackmores companions range of supplements when completing customer prescriptions.

Further reports revealed a deal between the Pharmacy Guild and Pfizer involving payments to pharmacists who alert patients who may be eligible to participate in support programs for a number of drugs made by the company when prompted by GuildCare dispensing software.

Of those surveyed 62% said they had less trust in pharmacists as the result of their knowledge of the deals, while just 27% said the reports had not shifted their opinions toward pharmacy.
The survey was completed by Essential Research after being commissioned by a coalition of groups including the Consumers Health Forum (CHF) and the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.

CHF CEO Carol Bennett said the results were an “alarming” indication of the negative impact of the commercial deals on consumer confidence in pharmacy. Ms Bennett called for broader discussion between the government and the pharmacy sector than its regular private negotiations with the guild.

“This is about the lack of transparency that applies to some of the arrangements that are being done,” Ms Bennett told MO.

“[The guild] has a vested interest of having an exclusive deal done with the government to provide professional pharmacy services to Australian taxpayers who are footing the bill to the tune of $15 billion.

“Yet they are squandering the reputation of professional pharmacists and in the process undermining the confidence that consumers can have in the professional services that are being provided by pharmacy.”

Comment was being sought from the Pharmacy Guild of Australia at the time of press”.

What do you think about pharmacists charging for health advice and for profiting from recommending specific products from certain manufacturers? Tell us what your thoughts are.


Yours In Great Health,

Sar Rooney BHSc., ND., DC., DASc., GDSc. (Hons), MATMS, MNHAA, MHATO

Naturopathic Medicine Practitioner, Lecturer, Researcher


Earth Medicine TM


Email: [email protected]



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