Added by Nigel Shelbourne on March 10, 2011
A range of products with purported health benefits sold by pharmacies throughout the country have failed to provide evidence of their effectiveness, a review by CHOICE says.
The products that showed “no credible evidence that they work” include various herbal weight loss remedies, ear candles, and plastic bracelets claiming to improve a range of conditions such as balance, muscle strength, motion sickness and jetlag.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has taken action against the manufacturer of another product, the “antisnor” ring, to prevent claims that it helps against snoring. Despite this, the product is still available in many pharmacies.
Ingrid Just, CHOICE spokesman, raised concerns about pharmacists selling products of dubious effectiveness: “Pharmacists hold a four year specialist degree in chemistry, and consumers rely on their expert advice,” she said.
Ms Just and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia agree that consumers should always ask their pharmacist for evidence of a product’s effectiveness before purchasing it.
The CHOICE review can be accessed from www.choice.com.au/pharmacies.