oa SA Pharmaceutical Journal - The LENGth and breadth of academia : cum laude



For several years now, we academics have been concerned about the proliferation of so-called natural medicines on the South African market. This is of course not unique to our country since there seems to be a world-wide movement away from products, whether foods or medicines, considered synthetic or genetically engineered. Unfortunately this phenomenon is being exploited by some less than ethical companies that market natural products of questionable origin and quality. The absence of an official and effective regulatory framework for the registration of these products, has unfortunately contributed to this unsatisfactory situation. Furthermore, since these products are not subject to any pricing regulation, they have become a major source of revenue for certain large pharmacies in major shopping complexes. It is not unusual to find in these pharmacies that the floor space dedicated to complementary medicines is several times larger than that of the dispensary.


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