Monday, December 15, 2014

Should Hospital Pharmacies Be Selling Homoeopathic Products?

I've struggled in the past with pharmacies selling nonsense. Invariably I always come back to the fact that pharmacies are businesses like any other and while I would have hoped that ethics would preclude pharmacies from preying on their customers by selling non-evidence based, or worse, proven to be useless bunk, I get that they're in it for the money.

But what about hospital pharmacies? After all, hospitals in Canada are publicly funded, and as such I struggle even more with the notion that the almighty dollar excuses their pharmacies' non-evidence based sale of hope.

That photo up above was taken in the Ottawa Hospital's General campus. The over the counter section in this pharmacy is extremely small (so's the whole pharmacy), and yet even among its very limited selection, there are multiple products that at best can be described as non-evidence based, and at worst as proven to be useless.

So I'm asking, should hospital pharmacies be held to a higher degree of accountability to evidence, and if not, why not?