Many Quebec Pharmacies Now Include a Warning Sign Near Homeopathic Products June 3, 2019

Many Quebec Pharmacies Now Include a Warning Sign Near Homeopathic Products

If you go to a Quebec pharmacy these days, the section with the homeopathic products may have a warning sign telling customers they’re about to buy bullshit.

That’s because homeopathic products are purposely diluted so much that they have no active ingredients in them. They may taste, look, and feel like medicine, but they don’t function as medicine. They only thing they’re good for is making your wallet lighter.

The warning signs themselves are weak, the font is tiny, and they’re not as large as they need to be, but they’re still more than you’ll find at just about every pharmacy in the U.S.

The effectiveness of homeopathic products is generally not supported by scientific evidence based [on] data.

I don’t know why they needed the qualifier “generally” since there’s literally no scientific support for homeopathic products working any better than a placebo…

The signs are the work of the Quebec Association of Pharmacy Chains (which uses the French initialism ABCPQ), which sent 6,000 of those signs to pharmacies across the province this past March. It was one of the few ways the association could combat the fake “medicine” since the only hurdle companies need to overcome to get their products on the shelves is that they can’t cause harm to patients.

In March, Quebec’s College of Physicians publicly stated it does not recognize homeopathy as a valid treatment.

That position is echoed by the Order of Pharmacists. “Right now in scientific literature there’s no conclusive evidence that it works,” says president Bertrand Bolduc.

More than 8,500 homeopathic products are approved by the federal government. There’s currently nothing preventing pharmacies from selling them. “They’re approved by Health Canada so right now we’re in a catch-22,” added Bolduc.

The warning signs are one way to combat the pseudoscience, though they’re entirely optional for the pharmacies.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., the Center for Inquiry is suing CVS and Walmart for deceiving customers by selling homeopathic remedies without offering any kind of indication that the products don’t work.

It’s absolutely irresponsible for any pharmacy to sell these products without making it abundantly clear to customers that they won’t help. We can’t expect the companies that make them to tell the truth, and we can’t expect customers to do research on their own, so the responsibility lies on the pharmacies themselves to make sure customers are fully aware of what they’re purchasing (and not getting in return) before they pay.

(Image via McGill University)

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