I was in a pharmacist’s shop today. Pharmacists like to portray themselves as skilled and highly trained medical professionals, able to give consultations and advice on a wide range of minor medical conditions. This impression is strongly promoted on the web site of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.
This impression is however somewhat spoiled when you walk into a pharmacists. The one I went into today was a typical example. Three prominent displays in particular. One was for homeopathic products, and another selling magnetic bracelets. The third was for minoxidil for hair loss, claiming a 90% success rate. In fact a study in the Lancet in 1987 showed only a 10% success rate.
The impression I gained was less of a reputable and ethical medical professional, and more that of a snake oil salesman, peddling his quack wares.
Well pharmacists, you can’t have it both ways. If you want the status of an ethical professional, then you have to show some ethics. And as long as you promote quackery for financial gain then you are no more than jumped up grocers, with all the integrity of Arkwright.