Black Cohosh warning

Posted 30 October 2012

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is today reminding people about the risk of liver problems with the herbal remedy Black Cohosh – a product commonly used to relieve menopausal symptoms. 

The reminder follows a serious case of liver failure resulting in a liver transplant suspected to have been caused by a herbal product containing Black Cohosh. The investigation of this case and of the product involved is ongoing.

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Vigro – ASA breach ruling

Posted 28 October 2012

In May 2012 the Directorate ruled that advertising that appeared on Vigro’s website, was unsubstantiated and in breach of Clause 4.1 of Section II of the Code. The advertising promoted the respondent’s “Vigro 3-step programme” as “… and effective long lasting solution for thinning hair”. To some extent, the ruling took issue with the fact that the product’s efficacy claims only apply to non-hereditary hair loss, a fact which was not clearly stipulated or conveyed to consumers.  On 12 September 2012 the complainant lodged a breach complaint against the respondent’s television commercial flighted on MNET. The ASA evaluated the complaint and Vigro’s response.

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Our medicines regulatory authority: plans for reform in South Africa

Posted 18 October 2012

By Andy Gray 

From the 3rd issue of the NSP Review  

One of the most important building blocks of any effective health system is a fully-functional medicines regulatory authority. In South Africa, this structure, established by an act of parliament, is entrusted with ensuring that the medicines made available in our country are safe, of good quality, and can be expected to have the effect for which they are indicated. 

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Legal thuggery threatens another skeptic

Posted 16 October 2012

This very hard hitting article, titled Legal thuggery threatens another skeptic, is in response to the Treatment Action Campaign’s press release titled Solal Technologies sues Kevin Charleston, one of its outspoken critics. The writer, a surgeon, independently examines Solal’s various claims for a range of products, and concludes that the science (evidence) simply does not support the claims:

[quote]Perusing Solal Technologies’ list of products, I was struck at the sheer range of nonsensical claims the company makes for them. [/quote]

Orac. Legal thuggery threatens another skeptic. Respectful Insolence [Science Blogs] October 16, 2012.

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Regulation of alternative medicine: why it doesn’t work, and never can

Posted 16 October 2012

An excellent article by Prof  David Colqhoun (UK) posted on DC’s Improbable Science which concludes:

[quote] The regulation of alternative medicine in the UK is a farce. It is utterly ineffective in preventing deception of patients. Such improvements as have occurred have resulted from the activity of bloggers, and sometime the mainstream media. All the official regulators have, to varying extents, made things worse. [/quote]

David Colqhoun. Regulation of alternative medicine: why it doesn’t work, and never can. DC’s Improbable Science. October 15th, 2012:

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An incorrigible perversion

Posted 12 October 2012

This is an article that appeared on the Mail & Guardian Thought Leader website, written by Prof Roy Jobson, and pertains to Solal’s product – Breast Protection Formula – for which the scientific support for the product’s claims are inadequate. 

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Solal Technologies to sue over ‘quack’ claims

Posted 12 October 2012

Solal Technologies to sue over ‘quack’ claims

Business Day by Tamar Kahn, 12 October 2012, 07:55 

(This article is related to the TAC press-release of 11 October 2012) 

LOCAL complementary medicine company Solal Technologies is suing consumer Kevin Charleston for defamation after he wrote an article critical of the firm, which he said promoted pseudoscience. 

The row takes place against the backdrop of a long-running industry tussle over what kind of claims are appropriate for sellers of complementary medicines to make about their products. The Medicines Control Council exercises strict oversight over scheduled medicines, but has largely left the complementary medicines industry to its own devices. 

Into that grey area have stepped consumers, such as Mr Charleston, who have turned to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to put the brakes on companies they believe to have made unsubstantiated claims about their products. 

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Quack company litigates against its critics

Posted 11 October 2012 

Solal Technologies sues Kevin Charleston, one of its outspoken critics  

11 October 2012


Solal Technologies is suing Kevin Charleston for R350,000 because he wrote on the Quackdown website that Solal Technologies’ magazine, Health Intelligence is a  “disguised marketing programme for Solal Technologies, a company that actively promotes pseudoscience and aggressively attempts to shut out valid criticism of its advertising.”

Charleston will be defending himself against Solal’s charges. He will have the support of the Treatment Action Campaign. He will be represented by SECTION27. The case, when it comes to court, promises to be an important test of the right to freedom of expression, and the duty of companies to market their products honestly and accurately.

Continue reading the posting at Quackdown 

Business Day article of the 12th October 2012 on the press-release

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