Regarding the pharmacy topic I had an interesting experience last year. Here the pharamacist typically has a bachelor-level degree. I went into a pharmacy during a slow period (didn't want to create a negative experience) and while they were filling my prescription I asked about the dominance of non-science-based medicine in the shop. My hypothesis was that the shop was not commercially viable without selling the snakeoil, but I was concerned that the lab coat, degrees on the wall, and the fact that they are holding the keys to the national drug cabinet filled with deadly stuff gives them a lot of apparent authority. One pharamacist's response shocked me. She: "If all I'm doing is filling prescriptions, then why did I go to university? The doctor might as well just hand it to you." Me: "I believe that having someone trained to watch out for bad combinations, inform patients on how to take them, and hold the keys is a worthwhile career in itself." I think she was bitter as a non-doctor. She was very keen to diagnose so I postulated some symptoms and it was immediately clear that her naturopathic reference material was worthless. They called in the shop owner (who has 5 pharmacies). I browsed while waiting for him to arrive. I personally know a lovely, well-meaning, misguided local naturopath. She makes GREAT tasting teas (especially elderflower cordial), but they shouldn't be sold as medicines. I chose one of her products as an example. The shop owner professed the same belief as the pharmacist so I asked what combination of symptoms would lead him or his staff to recommend to a customer that they buy this herbal medicine. After some waffling he actually said "Well, say someone is taking antibiotics. A common side effect is dry mouth. What are you going to do for dry mouth? I could recommend this......Or water." Me: "So you would present the alternatives of purchasing 250 ml of syrup for $14.50 or water?" He: "Maybe, maybe not, but clearly the customer has the choice."
This experience taught me that pharmacies may stock woo not only for the economic pressure, but for the more personal feelings of inadequacy of its staff. A desire to live up to the expectations of their perceived 'patients.' They may desire the mantle of authority and willingly put it on, but after a while doing so they may forget the gulf between what they're doing and what a medical doctor does.