Pharmacies: verdict against the sale of magnetic jewelry

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Court prohibits pharmacies from selling magnetic jewelry

Magnetic jewelry lacks tangible health benefits and should therefore not be offered and sold in pharmacies. This was decided on Thursday by the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig.

Litigation for seven years
Magnetic jewelry is "not part of the usual pharmacy goods" and may therefore not be offered and sold in pharmacies, judged on Thursday the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig (ref .: 3 C 15.12). The judges dismissed the complaint by a pharmacist from Hamm against a sales ban by the city of Hamm. The judgment brought an end to a legal dispute that had been going on between the pharmacist and the city council for almost seven years and three courts. The pieces of jewelry with magnets lack a tangible health benefit and are therefore “not part of the permissible range of goods in a pharmacy.” The court ruled that the jewelry was neither a medicinal product nor a medical device and therefore did not meet the requirements of a pharmacy-like product.

Positive effect is not understandable According to the pharmacy works regulations, "items that directly serve or promote human health" are common in pharmacies. So the product must “be objectively suitable to positively influence human health.” According to the Federal Administrative Court, this does not apply to magnetic jewelry. According to the lower courts, "the alleged positive effect on human health cannot be understood." There is no viable explanation for the effectiveness of magnetic jewelry and no reliable findings that go beyond the placebo effect.

Health-promoting effect is said Magnetic jewelry is said to have a health-promoting and sometimes even a life-prolonging effect. The majority of providers refrain from such advertising and point out that they are not allowed to make any statements about the healing powers of magnets or precious metals, as there is no scientific evidence for this. Some naturopaths, on the other hand, advertise when selling magnetic jewelry that pain and inflammation disappear and rheumatic complaints should be alleviated if, for example, you regularly wear a bracelet in which a magnet is also incorporated.

Customers' trust The ban on sales does not violate professional freedom, since the restriction of the range of goods to pharmaceuticals, medical devices and other “pharmacy-standard goods” is “justified and proportionate by sufficient reasons of the common good,” said the Federal Administrative Court. This would protect the trust of customers "to receive products with a real health benefit in the pharmacy." With the help of such measures, a development should ultimately also be prevented that pharmacies develop into so-called "drugstores". (ad)

Image: B.Stolze /

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