Pharmacies are among the worst up-sellers in retail.
Their shelves should be packed with pills, capsules and creams backed by medical science, not purse-depleting placebos, unneeded multi-vitamins, and herbal extracts science has not proven beneficial.
I was, I admit, grumpy when these thoughts passed through my fogged brain.
I had the flu, which had turned into a lung infection. I was waiting for my anti-biotics and steroids so I could go home and suffer in peace.
I didn’t deserve my suffering. I’d had a flu shot.
In a pharmacy most of the good stuff is behind the pharmacist’s counter.
These are the medicines that have passed through rigorous testing, and are prescribed by doctors.
But pharmacy shelves are filled with stuff no self-respecting clinician would endorse. These are the products for unqualified Make ‘‘reason’’ your guide Buy veges not pills ‘Promote’ your wealth
self-prescribers and the worried well.
Some were sold under guiltinducing signs posing questions like: ’’Could you be doing more to protect your family’s health this winter?’’
Other pills and elixirs were sold with claims they ‘‘promoted’’ or ‘‘supported’’ family health.
These non-specific claims won’t get their makers into trouble under the Fair Trading Act, or the Medicines Act, but if those are the best claims the makers can make, I say keep your money in your wallet.
Pseudo-medicines are costly. It’d be easy to get a $50 a month pill and extract habit, or spend $60 getting ‘‘support’’ to beat a cold.
Medical science has concluded most people don’t benefit from vitamin supplements, though there are some situations when your doctor may recommend them.
Generally, they are a waste of your money, as are many of the ‘‘super foods’’ and expensive diets that get promoted.
Australian professor of medicine Merlin Thomas has just published The Longevity List ,a book designed to show people how to live a long and healthy life.
His conclusion is superfood fads are ‘‘mostly a marketing ploy’’ and ‘‘those who take vitamins and other nutritional supplements often end up with worse health outcomes than those who do not.’’
My reading of the professor’s longevity list is this: Eat some chocolate, keep your diet sensible and low on processed food, sleep well, exercise, spend time out of doors, don’t smoke, stay off drugs, maintain a sensible weight, seek out love, and be moderate with the booze.
The great thing about that prescription is all the stuff you can save money on- superfoods, diets, vitamins supplements, fags, illegal drugs, snack-food and soft drinks.
Far from ruining your life, avoiding this junk will make it better, longer, healthier and cheaper.
You’ll also need much less doctor-prescribed medicine.
Back to the pharmacy. Just as the sensible shopper ignore the confectionary and soft drink aisles at the supermarket, so too can they ignore most of what’s on pharmacies’ shelves.
Instead, they can keep their money in their pocket where it will ‘‘promote’’ their wealth, not ‘‘support’’ someone else’s.
Spend your money on veges, not pills.