pharmacist pushing homeopathy

i am blessed with a bladder prone to infection. thus, this saturday, being stricken again, i waddle off the local chemist.
gimme something for cystitis, i says. i know how it works, i know what needs to happen.
it fiddles on it’s computer, and says, that something or other is out of stock, so he gives me this little bottle, and gives instructions.
ok fine.
i get home, and check out this little bottle. the lables is not from any parmaceutical company, it just says whatever pharmacy. the ingredients, half of which google doesnt know, turns out to be homeopathic shit.
im pissed off. as in plenty. i go to the pharmacy, asking for medicine, and this shithead gives me flavoured water.
i go back the next day (after not sleeping much due to pain, you know), and plonk said little bottle on the counter. i says to him, this is not real medicine, i want real stuff please. he says, its real. i says, its not.
this pharmacist, i suspect, mixed this crap in his kitchen, and sells it to every idiot who is not bleeding from the head. i didnt ask for make-believe medicine, i want stuff that works.
when i asked for specific stuff that i know works, oh hey, they have it in stock, and i walk out with a refund and a dangerously high blood pressure.

surely, these okes arent allowed to peddle no-name brand crap as opposed to actual medicine? if you ask for homeopathic bullshit, then sure, give it to me.

Just as well you can read then? I agree, it shouldnt be allowed, but I seriously doubt whether its against any law to pawn off anything to anyone gullible enought to part with their money for it.

As far as I know, the only medicine thats truly controlled is the scheduled ones, which you need a script for, asking advice at the pharmacy can (and as proven here) probably will open you up for just about anything.

Remember to ask for something for the blood pressure next time (will there be a next time at this particular chemist I wonder?). >:D

This is the free market going off track. Their markup percentage is huge with crap like this, where as with real medicine, probably only 20 - 30%. So if you come in without a script, and does not look like you are going to cause trouble - he is going to try and make as much profit as possible.

Would be interested to know what these were?

i cant remember them all, but it involved a lot of letters and numbers, like HX6, or some such nonsense. and odds and ends from the homeopathic spectrum like Berberis.
and this oke has the friggin audacity to tell me, without batting an eyelid, ‘it’s scientifically proven’. really?

sent a mail to the Pharmacists Association of South Africa
and got this in response:

I am sorry that you did not supply your contact details as I should have liked to phone you about this.

It is not acceptable for a pharmacist to supply any medicine without appropriate labels. In addition to the pharmacy’s name and directions on how to take the medicine, at the very least the name of the medicine and/or the ingredients should appear on the label. If it has been repacked from another bottle, the expiry date does not necessarily appear as the intention is that the medicine should have been repacked for a specific patient for immediate use.

I’m afraid that I cannot be more specific in the absence of further details. I am unsure of whether you asked for a particular product – if you did, did the pharmacist offer this as an alternative to the product requested? Or had you self-diagnosed cystitis, and left the choice of medicine to him? It sounds as though he did not explore the reasons for the request or the alternatives available. It’s also unclear whether he supplied a branded product, which would have had the manufacturer’s name on the label as well as the brand name, or whether he compounded something for you, which should have had the names of the ingredients on the label.

Whether it is a homoeopathic preparation or not, as a consumer you have the right to information on the reasons for the choice of this medicine, as well as elucidation of the benefits and risks involved. You also have the right to have a correctly labelled product.

As far as the supply of homoeopathic medicines in a pharmacy is concerned, many people are convinced of their efficacy. The PSSA believes that stricter regulation is required, but until such time manufacturers are at liberty to supply the products and consumers are at liberty to use them. If the pharmacist sells the product, he must be prepared to accept responsibility for informing the patient comprehensively about the product.

I would therefore suggest that you go back to the pharmacist and discuss the matter with him.

For the record, the PSSA does not control the supply of medicines. Perhaps your query should more appropriately have been directed to the South African Pharmacy Council, which establishes the standards for pharmacy practice, or to the Medicines Control Council, which controls the standards of medicines.