Secret shopper study: Pharmacies 'lax' on CAM interactions

Staff fail to warn patients about potential for harm with St John's wort

Most pharmacy staff fail to point out potentially harmful herb-drug interactions when selling products containing St John’s wort, a secret-shopper experiment suggests.

A researcher from the University of Sydney’s School of Pharmacy went undercover in 109 Sydney pharmacies asking for the herbal preparation, telling pharmacists or floor staff it was for her “62-year-old mother who is a bit sad these days”.

St John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a plant-derived complementary medicine used to treat mild mood