Doctor concerned with new rules which allow alternative remedies to be sold next to scientifically-proven medicines in pharmacies

The New Zealand Medical Association is angry that the Pharmacy Council will allow pharmacies greater freedom to sell alternative products.

The Council previously had a code which required credible evidence of the efficacy of a product before it could be sold at pharmacies, but this is changing on March 12, Newsroom reports.

Under the new rule, pharmacists can sell products with no scientific evidence that they are effective, but must tell the customer that.

But pharmacists say patients are always informed about the choices they're making. Source: 1 NEWS

Homeopathy is a pseudo-science invented in the 1700s, and practitioners believe extremely diluted solutions often containing no active ingredients can help with various health issues.

Practitioners believe the more diluted the solution is, the more effective it is, and usually repeat the dilution process so many times that no molecules of any active ingredient remain.

Its effectiveness has been widely disproven by large-scale studies.

New Zealand Medical Association's Dr Kate Baddock, speaking this morning to TVNZ 1's Breakfast programme, said putting "alternative and complementary" products on the shelves next to scientifically-proven ones gave them an air of legitimacy.

"By putting them in a pharmacy, it lends them a legitimacy that they don't necessarily deserve," Dr Baddock said.

Michael Pead says the changes to the code of practice for pharmacists recognises that they have enough expertise and knowledge to advise people in their best interests. Source: Breakfast

"The medicines which have got validity and scientific trials behind them, they are significantly regulated ... so yes, you do know what they'll do and you do know what they won't do and you actually know the side effects."

Chief Executive of the Pharmacy Council Michael Pead told Breakfast he is "excited" to change the code, saying it is "recognising the credibility of our pharmacists".

"We all need to realistic - complimentary alternative medicines exist across the board," Mr Pead said.

"Our pharmacists have always worked very closely with our patients ... they work closely in making sure that our patients make informed choices."

Mr Pead said the new code is aligned with the code in Australia, and that the previous guidance document for pharmacists, created in 2011, was "not enforceable".

"We work very closely with our pharmacists to ensure public safety," Mr Pead said.

"Our pharmacists are well trained, very credible, extremely safe and are doing exactly the same as what is expected of doctor."

Mr Pead emphasised that the Council is not there to regulate the medicines or products, but simply to regulate the pharmacists and how they practice.

Dr Kate Baddock says the new code of practice for pharmacists could lead to people mistaking an alternative remedy to real, scientifically-proven medicine. Source: Breakfast

Police investigating after students report feeling queasy after plane emits unknown substance over Wairarapa school

Several students have reported feeling ill at a primary school in Carterton after a plane flew over the school and one student saw "stuff" coming out of the aircraft.

The incident happened at approximately 1pm at South End School in the Wairarapa town. The school says all students are now "fine".

Police say they are investigating and are going door to door in the area checking on residents' welfare and trying to locate the source of the smell. They are also searching the school's grounds.

A statement on the school's Facebook page reads:  "A plane flew in a southward direction and one student had seen 'stuff' coming out of the plane - so we assume it was a fertiliser of some sort - several students have experienced feeling quezzy and ucky."

The statement continues:  "I have made them wash their face and drink plenty of water."

In a more recent statement the school says no students are allowed out of the school grounds and no one is allowed into the grounds.

"ALL students are fine and being looked after," the statement reads.

A Wellington Free Ambulance spokesperson says they have four ambulances at the scene.

Small aircraft flying
Light plane (file picture). Source:



Tauranga mussel processing plant ordered to pay nearly $280k after worker loses eye in workplace accident

A Tauranga mussel processing plant has been ordered to pay nearly $280,000 after a worker had to have his eye removed after an incident involving a corrosive cleaning product.

In a statement Worksafe says North Island Mussels Limited was sentenced in the Tauranga District Court today following the January 2017 incident which left their worker with life changing injuries.

The incident saw the worker decanting a cleaning product as a piece of tubing flicked him in the eye. The impact caused so much damage that the eye had to be removed, while the damage inflicted was so significant that fitting a prosthetic became impossible.

As a result, North Island Mussels Limited have been sentenced with a fine of $219,375, and ordered to pay $60,000 in reparation.

An investigation found that the cleaning product in question should not have been made available to be handled, instead should have been hardwired and plumbed for use.

"Protective equipment should not be the go to safety solution for using hazardous substances. If there is a smarter and safer way of doing a job, and it is reasonably practicable for it to be implemented then that is the expectation of the Health and Safety at Work Act" said WorkSafe's Deputy General Manager for Operations and Specialist Services Simon Humphries.

Seafood processing plant staff checking weight of mussels in small plastic container before packing
Mussel factory (file picture). Source:


Government to loan $339 million for Auckland housing infrastructure

Auckland Council is getting a $339 million government loan to enable 7000 houses to be built in the north-west of the city.

The interest free 10-year loan will go towards major infrastructure projects in Redhills and Whenuapai.

Auckland mayor Phil Goff said it will deliver new roads, wasterwater infrastructure, bus and cycle lanes.

This will allow developers to quickly build housing on greenfields land.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford said the developments would be near the planned light rail line and be supported by growth at the Westgate commercial centre, providing local services and employment opportunities.

He said the investment promoted one of the city's more affordable areas.

QV estimates properties in west Auckland average $824,000 compared to over $1m city-wide, he said.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford is now weighing up his options.
Source: 1 NEWS

NZ First bill to give police power to hand out on the spot fines to shoplifters

New Zealand First are in favour of introducing legislation that will see police be able to hand out on-the-spot fines to shoplifters.

A member's bill submitted by Law and Order spokesperson Darroch Ball is aiming to curb the described 'shoplifting epidemic', estimated to cost retailers over $1 billion in 2017 alone.

A 2017 survey from Retail NZ and Otago University found that retailers did not report 68 per cent of shoplifting, because they did not expect an adequate response from authorities.

"Currently, any formal prosecutions for shoplifting are time-consuming and costly as they must go before the courts, where the only punishments available are either custodial sentences or fines handed down by a judge," Mr Ball said in a statement.

"This bill shortcuts the litany of red tape, going straight to a scheme of proportional fines. It also sends the clear message that offenders will not get away with it."

Police would have the power to hand out a minimum $150 instant fine or a fine of "one and a half times" the value of the goods stolen, whichever is greatest.  

The proposed bill would only allow for two infringements, with a third seeing an offender prosecuted in court.

A police emblem on the sleeve of an officer.
A police emblem on the sleeve of an officer. Source: 1 NEWS