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South African Pharmacy Council “dismisses complaint against” [absolves] substantiators

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Posted 01 June 2010

In brief:

Complaint: Beverley Summers PhD erroneously substantiated Homemark products Peel Away the Pounds and Slim Coffee to the detriment of consumers.

Result: Complaint dismissed as the SAPC (a science-based statutory council) did not want to override any decision of the ASA (an industry-based, non-scientific, non-statutory “authority”). The SAPC erroneously refers to the Final Appeal Committee of the ASA as an “independent judicial tribunal” — possibly on the basis that Judge Mervyn King convenes the Final Appeal Committee.

Unintended consequences: the SAPC decision creates a precedent which allows pharmacists to substantiate claims made for unregistered and unregulated products where there is insufficient evidence for the claims to be made. The SAPC decision therefore places consumers at risk of harm, financially and possibly even healthwise.

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