Following a consultation process, the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand published a new Code of Ethics (“the Code”) this month, replacing the previous 2011 Code.

The principles and clauses of the Code express the responsibilities and professional values that are fundamental to the pharmacy profession: care of the patient, professional integrity and professional competence.

The Code sets out the following seven principles for pharmacists:

Principle 1: A pharmacist makes the health and wellbeing of the patient their first priority.

Principle 2: A pharmacist practises and promotes patient-centred care.

Principle 3: A pharmacist exercises professional judgement in the interests of the patient, family, whānau[1] and the wider community.

Principle 4: A pharmacist acts with honesty and integrity and maintains public trust and confidence in the profession.

Principle 5: A pharmacist only practises under conditions which uphold the professional independence, judgement and integrity of themselves and others.

Principle 6: A pharmacist demonstrates a commitment to continual professional and personal development to enhance pharmacy practice.

Principle 7: A pharmacist works collaboratively with others to deliver patient-centred care and optimise health outcomes.

The Code is attracting widespread attention in circumstances where the Code now permits the sale of products which do not have scientific proof of their effectiveness. These products, such as homeopathic remedies, can now only be sold if the customer is informed that there is no scientific evidence around their ability to treat their ailment.

The online version of the Code can be accessed here.