The Pharmacy Guild has rejected a report in the some Fairfax newspapers today which claims pharmacists are paid “kickbacks” to promote some prescription medicines. This is totally false. There is no legitimate comparison between the Pfizer patient support programs, and the recently withdrawn endorsement of some Blackmores complementary medicines by Gold Cross.
The Pfizer patient support programs involve prescription medicines only – which cannot be dispensed without the written authority of a doctor. There is no endorsement of the product involved, and there is no ‘promotion’ of any prescription medicine to patients.
The purpose of the Pfizer patient support programs is to encourage quality use of important prescription medicines, and to ensure that patients take their medicines in accordance with the doctor’s prescription.
Research has indicated that only around 20 per cent of people take the full course of their medicine as prescribed by their doctor. This is particularly the case where medicines are treating conditions which may appear symptomless to the patient, such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure. In these circumstances, the Guild, governments, the pharmaceutical industry and all recognised health authorities support the encouragement of patients to take their medicines as prescribed. Compliance with prescribed medications keeps thousands of people out of hospital every year.