So what do we mean by science-based pharmacy (SBP)? Our working definition is as follows:
- The provision of professional advice that is science-based. This means providing patients with science- and evidence-based information that is grounded in the best evidence. It is providing professional opinions that are ethically sound through an evaluation of evidence and our judgment as health professionals.
- The provision of products and services that are grounded in science. Science-based pharmacy products have evidence to support their use, and that evidence is consistent with what is know about medicine, drugs, and the human body. There is enough evidence to support the conclusion that the potential benefits outweigh the actual risks. Science-based pharmacies don’t sell questionable products that are implausible or have no evidence of benefit.
- Collaboration with credible health professionals. Science-based pharmacists triage and refer patients as appropriate to other legitimate, licensed health professionals who also practice their profession in a science- and evidence-based way.
Pharmacy is a registered health profession. In exchange for the provision of products and services to patients, pharmacists are granted exclusivity to provide these actions. Unfortunately, these privileges are increasingly being abused through the growing availability of highly questionable and potentially dangerous products and services in pharmacies.
If it looks like pharmacy-based quackery, we intend to scrutinize it and report on it. We believe pharmacists are compromising the health and welfare of consumers through the sale of questionable products. Pharmacists need to take responsibility for restoring their own profession to one that relies on science, not mysticism and wishful thinking. We plan to use this forum to advocate for higher standards in pharmacy education and regulation, as well as the overall regulation of drugs and other products sold in pharmacies.
There is a clear difference between what pharmacists and pharmacies can currently do, and what’s in the best interest of our patients. This blog will draw that line.
This blog was inspired by the Science-Based Medicine blog, and particularly the work and blogging of Dr. David Gorski and Dr. Steven Novella. Their efforts to fight pseudoscience in medicine are remarkable. We hope this blog can start to effect a similar change in the profession of pharmacy.
Contact sciencebasedpharmacy [at] gmail.com
Last revised: 2009/10/01