CHOICE membership

Medications with no clinical worth sold at pharmacies



Not all pharmacies choose to carry it unfortunately. My local one doesn’t :frowning:


I agree, but what I meant is that if you don’t know about it you don’t ask. I’m older and know the “old” brands, but when you go into the chemist and say you need a decongestant, they will offer the new one with the new ingredients frist. Whereas you have to ask for the original I don’t care about ID’s. I will gladly show mine and in fact they should get everyone’s ID’s for dangerous or addictive drugs. I also find that my local chemist sometimes doens’t carry the original.


I don’t care about ID’s either, but many if not most or all chemist staff ask the “100 questions” every time prior to supplying pseudoephedrine as if they are doctors and we are buying 24 pills at a high price (probably designed to control use through economics) for a meth lab. In these days it would not be beyond belief that happens, but.

We always use the same chemist, and because of chronic allergies and sinus problems in the family that even surgery did not help, pseudoephedrine works and everything else does not, so we are pseudo-regulars for a box every few months, and known to the staff. Still we are subjected to the questions every time. More so if we try to buy more during allergy seasons. Akin to guilty until proven innocent.

Perhaps a “trusted buyer card” (not a prescription with its specific amounts and limited refills) should be introduced for controlled OTC medicines such as pseudoephedrine, issued by a medical practitioner, to at least streamline the process. Show your card and get your meds with less time from the chemist staff and less angst for the customer, so a win-win.


Hi, I agree with what you’re saying. Because people that abuse things can buy multiple boxes at multiple chemists, I feel that sometimes the people that don’t abuse the drug pay the price. Let’s face it, people that want to do something illegal with a drug or abuse a drug can ALWAYS get it. I think the card is a good idea. I don’t have a problem with my chemist, he knows me, knows the meds I take and just gives me what I ask for. But if I go to another chemist, as you said, it’s like an inquisition. I think that drugs that can be abused are better controlled using technology. If I buy a box of some drug, then they should put that on cloud storage somewhere with my ID and photo or something like that…maybe driver’s licence so that all the other chemists can see and not sell someone the same thing five minutes later. I know this is a bit off topic but I take Valium for extreme anxiety and have taken it for years. My doctor has moved and is far away but I go see him for serious things. However I go to a local doctor for every day things. My doctor wrote a letter to the local doctor saying about my Valium. I can go to the far away doctor and he will ask me if while I’m there I want scrips and I will say yes…because he knows I don’t abuse them. I could theoretically go to the local doctor and get another script…and go to different chemists to get them. This is why I suggest that instead of selling things that don’t work (coming back to the topic) they make it easier to buy the things that DO work, but with a system in place that shows who bought what and where and when. Then if people that abuse the drug want it they would have to do so illegally and it would cost THEM more and it will be more difficult for THEM, not us. It’s always the people that do the right thing that pay for the people that don’t. And you’re right about being made to feel guilty about doing something you know isn’t wrong. I’m lucky mine doesn’t but I have gone for drugs in new chemists where they actually treat me like I’m an addict without even knowing me. Maybe you should talk to your chemist one on one and tell him how you feel? Personally I did that about the “cheaper” brand. I don’t like using different brands of medication and the doctor never ticks the box about not giving me the cheaper brand and I sometimes forget. I’ve spoken to my chemist and now he put that on my account on his computer and I always get the brand name product. I’m not being a snob…I’m sure that they work as well but sometimes because I take quite a few medications I look in my medicine cupboard and have to think twice about what I’m taking. So maybe if you tell him or her that they are making you feel like a criminal, they will stop. On a another note…I order a lot of things online and those meds are pharmacy only and the chemist has to talk to you and hand them to you by law. The online chemist will make me ring before dispatching the medicine, while at my local chemist the girl behind the counter just gives it to me…so they’re not doing the right thing either.


A ‘Trusted Buyer Card’ is exactly what is needed TheBBG. It is condescending and frankly getting tiresome when someone 25 years your junior facilitates an inquisition in order to hand over something with codeine in it.

It has reached the point I get mentally wound up before I even get there as if expecting a fight on each visit. This can’t be healthy in itself.


I find it quite tiresome, but I have not found a younger person working in a pharmacy to be condescending, only doing their jobs as required by one or both of government and their employer.

Funny though, more and more staff everywhere are 25(+) years my junior, so they must have something on the ball, or … Oh wait, who is that in the mirror? :wink:

Sometimes we oldies can also be so smart we do ourselves over hoarding drugs that are not good for us, so giving us a total “bye” to do our own thing is not the best solution either, but that is case-by-case. Some people have drivers licenses and some do not qualify; same for my suggested “Trusted buyer card”.


My kids keep calling me that but I remain in denial.

Some people don’t realise they’ve slipped into an unhealthy pattern of drug consumption. I, on the other hand, am fully aware of my ‘less than ideal’ intake. :grimacing:

A motorcycle accident many moons ago causes me grief which occasionally requires more than just ‘positive thoughts’ to manage. I also do shift work as a production supervisor on a mine/processing plant and rely on sleeping aids to manage the constant day/night swaps and still keep half a wit about me. I rarely get a chance to go into town so when I do, I try to stock up on what I need. I have found the pharmacist will no longer sell me both paracetamol/codeine and ibuprofen/codeine together so I have to choose one or the other at the time.

I have also received remarks from the younger staff when filling scripts along the lines of “you only got this (x time) ago” and “geez you’re getting through these” which I find confronting and unprofessional.


We all get to suffer when there is a ‘war on…’. In the current discussion, there is a ‘war’ on drugs, and our betters are telling us what is right for us. The trouble with this is that they are not actually any ‘better’, and in some cases their decisions on what is right are ill-informed or biased by opinions rather than facts.

Stepping back to the ‘war’ on drugs for a moment, it has been one of the most ill-conceived, damaging, costly social experiments to have ever been tried - and it has failed dismally!

  1. The prelude to this ‘war’ was US prohibition - and it was (sensibly) abandoned once politicians realised the damage it caused.
  2. Harry Anslinger, the man who was going to lose his job leading the US Drug Enforcement Agency’s predecessor if he didn’t find something to ‘enforce’, managed to create a fear of “black people on drugs”. The current prohibition has grown out of that.
  3. Any economist will be able to tell you what happens to a market if you start restricting supply - say, by making a product illegal. It suddenly becomes enormously profitable to anyone who is prepared to break a stupid law. Making certain drugs illegal actually encourages crime.
  4. What is the most dangerous recreational drug, to the individual and their society? Heroin - oops, I mean alcohol. Alcohol is more dangerous than heroin by a wide margin, so if drug bans were based upon science it would be the first to go.
  5. But what about all these dying addicts? Well, they don’t shoot just heroin, they mainly shoot additives - bleach, washing powder, salt etc. Give them pure heroin and clean needles and they’ll survive much better, thank you very much.
  6. Why do people get addicted? I’ll leave this question to the reader.

Now for a reading recommendation: this article about the war on drugs, excerpted from Johann Hari’s Chasing The Scream. Oh, and the book. And more locally, this editorial in The Age.

Next week’s discussion: the ‘war on terror’. Maybe :wink:.


Honest curiosity, do you ever get served by an older person? In these days most front counter staff are indeed young, or at least younger than many of us.

Quite a while back the Courier Mail reported a human interest story about the “young men down the street” who helped an 80++ lady with her groceries, etc. Expecting a great story about teens the reporter went looking and found the “young men” were in their late 60s :slight_smile:

If you put yourself in young peoples’ perspective, it is often a world of drugs and abuse and that is all they know. Did you ever have a chat with them so they know your circumstances? It could be an educational eye opener for them in the same way people with “invisible disabilities” are treated by some when they use their handicapped parking.


In my area, the ‘older’ person (mid 40’s and up) is generally only the pharmacist, only called upon for advice or a problem. The younger front end staff are usually between late teens to early 20’s.

I have tried the ‘educational’ tack but the next time I visit I find they have a glazed look on their face with no recollection of who I am, even though I recognise them. I feel it is not my place to enlighten them about the art of diplomacy or judgment reservation so we end up back to the start with the ‘tiresome’ groundhog day playing out. This is where your ‘Trusted Buyer Card’ comes in. . .


Hear, hear, Postulative! A war waged on our own people at enormous financial, social and personal cost with no outcomes but the diametric opposite of those which it’s claimed to intend, and the most beneficial arrangement that organised crime has ever known.

If the principal of qui bono (who benefits) was applied, it’d be impossible to arrive at any conclusions that didn’t end in corruption.


CHOICE shadow shopped of 240 pharmacies including Priceline Australia, Chemist Warehouse and Terry White Chemmart has found many are recommending alternative medicines that have little to no scientific evidence for their effectiveness. The full report is featured on ABC’s Four Corners tonight.


When the government encourages the sale of zero evidenced PE equivalent sinus ‘medication’ over clinically proven versions, good luck with that.
I don’t think chemists should sell homeopathy or ear candles, etc, but the authorities make anyone who wants a medication to dry a runny nose be treated as a criminal if they want to get something that clinical trials show works rather than something that is a placebo.


…and much later, our government has come to the aid of the industry. Unbelievable!