Stick to evidence, pharmacists told

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia recently received criticism over a Pfizer-run patient support program, which involved a $7 payment to the pharmacist for each patient enrolled.

A TGA spokesperson confirmed the administration had contacted Medicines Australia and the Pharmacy Guild indicating it was aware “there are similar arrangements in place between the Pharmacy Guild and other companies” and to request information to ensure those programs did not breach advertising regulations.

Activist and academic Dr Ken Harvey said the “basic problem” was pharmacists made about 70% of their income from the PBS and the rest “flogging perfume and homeopathic remedies”.

“There is a real tension between the business side of pharmacy and the professional side,” Dr Harvey said.

Pharmaceutical Society of Australia president Grant Kardachi said the solution was for pharmacists to embrace evidence-based medicine