Sampling at pharmacies showed that many sell unnecessary medication
Especially in autumn and winter, many people fear getting a cold. They often try to prevent such a disease by strengthening their immune system. For this, they often go to the pharmacy. However, they are often poorly advised there and often leave the pharmacy with medication that is actually superfluous. This is the conclusion reached by experts from the business and consumer magazine Markt after a sample has been carried out.
A consultation in the pharmacy should actually mean that people can go home without any questions or ambiguities, but with the right medication. However, a sample of the business and consumer magazine Markt on NDR television now showed that many people in pharmacies are poorly advised and often receive unnecessary medication. Almost all pharmacies checked in the sample did good business selling such drugs. Regarding patients, unfortunately, often seems to fall by the wayside.
Fall and winter are viral times
In autumn and winter in particular, there are many illnesses caused by viruses. Apparently pharmacies often use incorrect advice to prevent colds in order to actually sell unnecessary medication. In the sample from the NDR, as many as nine out of ten pharmacies recommended such cold protection products.
In nine out of ten cases, pharmacies sold redundant products
The business and consumer magazine Markt always tested pharmacies with the same question: "I am healthy, but I want to protect myself from being infected during the cold period," said the NDR press release. In nine out of ten cases, the advice came to the conclusion that those affected should take preparations to protect against a cold and to strengthen the immune system.
If you are well, you do not need any means of prophylaxis
In the press release from the NDR, the general practitioner Dr. Martin Scherer of the Uni-Klinik Hamburg-Eppendorf expressly refrains from such prophylactic means. There are a large number of bacteria in a cold. It does not make sense to want to stimulate the immune system non-specifically here, explains Dr. Clipper. If a person is doing well, there is little need for further optimization. Products offered from pharmacies lead to a so-called unspecific activation of the immune system. said the doctor. In other words, there is no reliable evidence of effectiveness for these products.
Test buyers paid up to 50 euros for unnecessary products
For the test purchases made, the buyers paid between 6.75 euros and almost 50 euros per pharmacy. This money can be saved from the perspective of pharmacologists. "It is a sale of products that have little to do with the immune system, and in this respect it is in most cases a profiteer," explains pharmacologist Gerd Glaeske in the NDR press release. Such means are not much protection against colds. "The preparations are expensive, but their effectiveness is extremely dubious," adds Glaeske.
Be careful when taking supplements
So-called nutritional supplements are only intended for people who suffer from certain deficiency symptoms due to illness or long-term malnutrition. Ingestion should be discussed with a doctor.
Children should be especially careful when taking supplements
In pharmacies, food supplements for children (mostly zinc) were also often sold in test purchases. The operators sold such food supplements in seven out of ten pharmacies. Not only are these drugs superfluous for children, they can also have dangerous effects, the experts say. "Nonspecific stimulation of the immune system is not advisable, especially in the growth phase, especially because overreactions can be induced, and I would therefore advise you to be careful with it in general," explains Dr. Martin Scherer from UKE.
Pharmacies have an obligation to advise
Pharmacists are legally obliged to advise their customers. A so-called detailed customer consultation has been compulsory since June 1, 2012 according to the pharmacy works regulations. “The professional organizations of pharmacists are very interested in providing good advice in local pharmacies and continuously improving the quality of advice. But with around 20,000 pharmacies with 150,000 employees and around 3.6 million patient contacts every day, we cannot, of course, guarantee that every single consultation will be to their fullest satisfaction, ”wrote the Federal Association of German Pharmacists' Associations (ABDA) when Markt asked.
Only one pharmacy did not sell unnecessary products during the sample
In the sample carried out, there was only one pharmacy that did not sell any products at all. Instead, various healthy lifestyle rules were recommended. You should therefore ensure a balanced diet, fresh air and exercise. You should also wash your hands more often because cold viruses are mainly transmitted through the hands. In the so-called cold period, there is no need to shake hands when greeting and saying goodbye. In general, larger crowds should be avoided and sick people should be avoided, according to the experts' advice. Avoiding stress was also mentioned as another important point in cold prevention. (as)