business news in context, analysis with attitude

USA Today reports that "CVS and Walmart are in the midst of a court battle for selling FDA-approved, over-the-counter medications alongside homeopathic products, a form of alternative medicine based on diluted ingredients.

"The Center for Inquiry, the nonprofit that filed the lawsuits, argues that this sort of product placement is misleading and presents homeopathic products as equivalent alternatives to science-based medicines."

The story notes that "there is little evidence that shows homeopathic products are effective, according to the National Institutes of Health. And while experts say most are harmless, the Food and Drug Administration warns that it cannot ensure their safety or effectiveness."  And, USA Today quotes Kelly Karpa, a former pharmacist and a professor in East Tennessee State University's department of medical education, as saying that "over-the-counter medication has to have been proven safe and effective for the condition that it's purported to treat," while homeopathic products "had their own set of conditions under which they can be marketed. They kind of bypassed all of that safety and efficacy.”

KC's View:

I think it is really important that products not approved by federal regulators have to be clearly marked that way … false equivalences need to be avoided, especially by retailers that could be held responsible if things go badly.  

A customer-centric mindset would make dealing with this issue easy, I think.