Self-referral, Compounding or Delivering Traditional Remedies by Physicians: Ethical Concerns and Codes
"Self-referral" as a specific type of conflict of interest, could potentially interfere with the integrity of an "appropriate referral" which should be practiced based on the unique needs of each patient. Referring patients to health facilities where the traditional therapist or physician "has investment interests or is part/full owner of such facilities" is ethically unacceptable and considered to be a kind of self-referring. We, in line with international community and as a professional duty, are obliged to abstain from such a problem. Considering the fast-growing global request for natural products, this ethical and professional issue needs crucial considerations respecting legislation, legal and professional detection and controls. In this way, potentiate the Traditional Pharmacy specialty (Ph.D), practical education of interested pharmacists regarding traditional medications, defining standards for traditional herbal preparations, cessation of preparation of traditional remedies by physicians are among the suggestions could be followed for professional handling of the problem. It is also the right time for compiling ethical codes covering global concerns for ethical prescription of traditional medications.
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