News

Complementary medicines: the next big thing in community pharmacy


8 December 2017

 

What do pharmacists need to know?


Graduate Certificate in Evidence-Based Complementary Medicines to commence in 2018.


The ever-increasing use of complementary medicines has become a hot topic among Australian healthcare professionals, pharmacists, policy makers, and the media.

Currently more than 60 percent of Australians use complementary medicines. We are actually one of the few countries with the highest complementary medicines adoption in the developed world.

How big is the complementary medicines' market compared to other medicines in Australia?


It's staggering to believe that over the last ten years, complementary medicine adoption has risen so quickly that Australians are now spending more money on these products than on traditional Western medicine. And many people visit a complementary medicine practitioner before they see a general practitioner.

Community pharmacy is one of the main suppliers of complementary medicines in Australia and the primary outlet for approximately 40 percent of the total money spent on this sector. This number is estimated between $800 million and $1.3 billion annually - a number that continues to grow.

Outside of community pharmacies, an increasing range of natural, herbal, vitamin, and traditional cures are available in supermarkets, service stations, health food stores, online - and even in vending machines.

Are all complementary medicines proven to be safe and effective?


While complementary medicines are strongly advocated in popular media, package warnings or awareness campaigns about risks and side effects are not.

Evidence shows there are substantial benefits for some complementary medicines yet they can also cause harm if not properly used. They may enhance or reduce the effects of prescribed medications or elicit unpredictable idiosyncratic effects.

While some complementary medicine products are regulated in Australia, often at levels beyond those in other countries, most complementary medicine provision remains informal or unregulated.

Pharmacists tell us there is a shortage of readily accessible data on safety and efficacy and that the role of advising on complementary medicines in conjunction with conventional therapy is a dilemma they face every day.

As a medicines and medication management expert, you and your team play a fundamental role in offering sound, impartial advice so customers have access to safe and effective medicines and that they use those medicines appropriately.

Can you confidently say that you and your team are well equipped to provide your customers with the current evidence for efficacy along with information on side effects, drug interactions and risks of harm?

Study Evidence-Based Complementary Medicines at the University of Sydney


The Graduate Certificate in Evidence-Based Complementary Medicines at the University of Sydney has been designed by leading complementary medicines experts to urgently respond to these industry needs.

New in 2018, this course is offered at no other academic institution in NSW.

Developed for pharmacists like you, who wish to expand their knowledge of complementary medicines, you'll be armed with a unique set of skills that will give your business a competitive edge.

What will you learn?


You will learn how to identify reliable and reputable information resources that provide information on the effectiveness and safety of complementary medicines commonly used in the management of health and disease.

Importantly, you'll also learn how to translate evidence-based information into day-to-day practice.

Our patient-centred approach which will ensure your theoretical and clinical skills development focuses on the integration of complementary medicines into the overall health management of your customers.

How is the course structured?


We've designed the course so you can complete your studies in one year on a part-time basis. Primarily delivered through advanced online collaborative learning exercises, you can tailor your study around your busy working lifestyle.


This course is your opportunity to ensure you and your staff develop specialist knowledge in complementary medicines that can meet high customer demand at the front-line of healthcare.


Applications for semester 1 close 31 January each year.