Here’s the new ad for Amcal, a pharmacy chain. I caught this ad last night in a rare spate of TV watching.
So I popped down to my local Amcal chemist. Along with perfumes, diapers, and magazines, here’s what I found.
Lots and lots of homeopathy. The message is starting to get out that homeopathy doesn’t work, but it seems the chemists are either clueless, or they can’t resist all the tasty tasty money that it brings.
Bach flower essences are also popular, but just as dodgy. “Traditionally used to relieve feelings of stress”, it says.
This is a bottle of some patent medicine. If you look closely, it says, “With creosote.” That’s not a warning; I think it’s meant to be a selling point.
This is supposed to be for migraines. It’s mostly just lavender oil.
And lots of ear candles. Everybody knows these are bogus, right? A brochure says that in addition to sucking the wax out of your ears, they can restore your harmonic energy balance. I asked, if they don’t restore my harmonic energy balance, do I get my money back? They said no.
And check it out — colloidal silver, ffs.
I don’t think my local chemist is atypical. Chemists around here have real medicine that works, but they don’t mind selling a bit of the fake stuff on the side. So if you walk into a chemist expecting expert advice, you might get it, or you might shell out good money for a lot of crap.
People look to pharmacies as places where they can get accurate information about health and drugs. Maybe pharmacists don’t ask for this reputation, and it’s an expectation that the public has created. Which would let the pharmacists off the hook.
But now that Amcal is embracing its image that their people are ‘experts’ (and trading off of this image), then they have a responsibility to provide expert advice and educate the public, and not supply fake cures just because the unwary will pay for it.