CFI urges pharmacists to steer consumers away from homeopathic fake medicine

Feb. 17, 2021

The Center for Inquiry, a national science advocacy organization, announced that it asked the Joint Commission of Pharmacy Practitioners (JCPP) and its member organizations to ensure that they steer patients away from fraudulent medicine in the form of homeopathy.

“When they’re sick, American consumers turn to their pharmacists for their training, professionalism, and their personal connection to their communities,” said Nick Little, CFI vice president and general Counsel. “One out of three customers suffering from an illness places themselves in the knowing hands of their pharmacist to tell them what treatment they should take. That is an incredible statement of trust in pharmacists’ expertise, and it is critical that they never betray that trust by recommending phony products that, at best, have no effect of any kind whatsoever.”

Homeopathy is an eighteenth-century pseudoscience premised on the unscientific notion that a substance that causes a particular symptom can alleviate that symptom when it is diluted to the point that it no longer exists, save for the “memory” nonsensically alleged to be retained by water molecules. It is established scientific fact that homeopathic treatments have no effect whatsoever beyond that of a placebo.

In its letter to the JCPP, CFI says, “Pharmacists have an ethical and moral obligation to ensure that patients are safe, not a profit source.”

Buying homeopathic products is more than a waste of money, says CFI, which tells the JCPP that by recommending homeopathy to customers, “they are directing them to an under-regulated, under-policed, potentially toxic substance for the patient, or, worse, for their child. Such behavior cannot fit within the JCPP’s Pharmacists’ Patient Care Process.”

CFI says the solution is simple: Don’t recommend homeopathy to patients, and whenever possible, inform them of what homeopathy actually is and that it simply doesn’t work.

“It is critical that your members use their position wisely, and that they in no situation recommend homeopathy to their patients,” writes CFI. “Pharmacists are in a unique and ever important position to ensure the health and safety of us all by ensuring these products are treated as the shams they are.”

The Center for Inquiry is currently engaged in two consumer-protection lawsuits against retailers Walmart and CVS for misrepresenting homeopathy’s safety and efficacy by selling homeopathic products right alongside real, evidence-based medicine on its shelves and its online store, with no distinction made between them, under signs indicating them as treatments for particular ailments.

Members organizations of the Joint Commission of Pharmacy Practitioners include:

·        Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP)

·         American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP)

·         American College of Apothecaries (ACA)

·         American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP)

·         Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)

·         American Pharmacists Association (APhA)

·         American Society of Consultant Pharmacists (ASCP)

·         American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)

·         College of Psychiatric/Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP)

·         Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association (HOPA)

·         National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP)

·         National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA)

·         National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations (NASPA) 

Center for Inquiry has the release.