Last week, is an effort to curb the explosion of pseudoscience in Australian pharmacies, Richard Saunders and myself wrote an open letter to Australian pharmacists.

In the letter, we pointed out that pharmacies sell a growing number of products for which there is little or no scientific evidence of efficacy. Calling them “alternative” does not make them work. Examples include homeopathic preparations, magnetic pain relief devices, detox programmes, dodgy weight loss products and ear candles. Such products commonly appear in a “Natural Medicine” section of pharmacies but are sometimes displayed alongside real medicines whose benefits are scientifically proven.

With respect to ear candles, we cited peer reviewed studies reporting serious injuries from ear candles, including temporary hearing loss, burns, ear canals blocked by dripping wax and punctured ear drums.

“Ear candling is one of those CAM modalities that clearly does more harm than good… its mechanism of action is first implausible and second, demonstrably wrong… in my view, therefore, it should be banned.” Edzard Ersnt.

We were very pleased to see our open letter was picked up by

You can find a link to the full letter here. Thank you also to our friend Lorreta Maron who got the letter posted on a pharmacists’ website.

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