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    Jarrod McMaugh

    I’d like Dr Wendy Lipworth, Dr Christopher Mayes and Professor Ian Kerridge to explain the difference between using your professional reputation to sell a product, and using your professional reputation to sell a course of action.

    My Lawyer provides me with very few physical products, but the different courses of action that she recommends cost me different amounts, and also earn her different amounts.

    I am in discussions with a surgeon at the moment, and depending on the particular process I agree to, each surgery has a different cost and subsequent profit for the surgeon.

    My financial adviser offers me purely cognitive services, and the different courses of action have different costs for me and profits for her.

    The definition of a professional is someone who puts the interests of their patient (or client in two of the cases i describe above) above their own financial benefit, while still benefiting from that transaction financially.

    Perhaps that’s the difference – pharmacists often provide advice that may prevent a sale… therefore we don’t always benefit from the transaction financially.

    I think its all too easy for people who don’t actually know what they are talking about to accuse pharmacists of a conflict of interest based purely on the fact that our advice is often linked to the sale of a product.

    If pharmacists truly had a conflict of interest in this area, we would stock something innocuous like bottled water, and sell it to every person, no matter the complaint. Whats the point of having a pharmacy filled with product if I could just recommend water for everything?

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