A pharmacist has hit back at critics of a much-maligned weight-loss regimen, claiming he’s a victim of a “witch hunt” against compounders.
The pharmacist, Darryll Knowles, says the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission was wrong to include the Medical Weightloss Institute (MWI) treatment in a public health warning about “non-evidence based” weight loss products.
He says he has evidence the treatment is effective. However, like all medicines, it does not have a 100% success rate.
And he is still supplying medication to some of the 2000 former clients of the institute.
The patients contacted Mr Knowles and the referring GP for help after the institute closed in February following what the pharmacist describes as a shareholder dispute.
He says he has a duty of care and is providing the medication for free to clients who paid the MWI in full for a 12-month program.
This, he says, has left him “thousands of dollars” out of pocket.
“I try to do the right thing by these patients who are asking for help and next thing I’ve got the authorities telling me I am sort of shonk and I’m dodgy,” says Knowles, who owns Australian Custom Pharmaceuticals, .
“There are witch hunts on all over the place against good compounders, good pharmacists just trying to help people.
“The innuendo that if you are a compounder, you’re a witch doctor is out of control.”
He says the institute’s program uses diethylpropion, which had been on the market since 1959 with 30 million scripts globally as an anoretic for weight loss.
Chromium picolnate, which is an approved ingredient in TGA-listed weight loss products is also used.
Another drug given to patients is metformin , which Mr Knowles says is perfect for weight loss as it blocks glucose uptake and blocked insulin resistance in the bowel.
“How is that unproven?”
“Australian Custom Pharmaceuticals has never had a complaint from a patient.”
Mr Knowles is furious the commission implied he did not adequately counsel patients about their medications.
“I send a CMI with every medication and I call every MWI patient,” he says.
“In my opinion there so many untruths and omissions of fact in that public statement.”
Mr Knowles, however, agrees MWI had done the wrong thing by advising people not to go to their GP. But customer service representatives were at fault, not practitioners, he says.
He emphasised that Australian Custom Pharmaceuticals was not financially affiliated with MWI “with the only relationship being the traditional patient-pharmacist-doctor triad of care”.