Health supplements, complementary medicines will soon no longer be regulated

Posted 29 October 2020

The headline of this IOL piece is somewhat misleading.

By Zelda Venter

IOL

Pretoria – Health supplements and complementary medicines – which are not scheduled medicines as defined by the Medicine’s Act – will soon no longer be regulated by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority, which regulates all medicines, including scheduled medicines.

But, while the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, did strike down the current regulations over these substances, it made it clear that alternative medicines still had to be regulated.

Judge Elizabeth Kubushi gave the minister of health and the regulatory authority 12 months to determine how best to regulate these alternative medicines.

“I am loath to leave the regulation of complementary medicines without a time frame.”

She said 12 months should give the health authorities ample time to decide how best to regulate this popular industry.

The order was sparked by the Alliance Read the rest

Free science literacy course launched

Posted 27 October 2020

The University of Alberta is offering a free online course in Science Literacy intended to enable learners to “understand and use scientific evidence to challenge claims based on misinformation, and engage the process of science to ask questions to build our knowledge.” The course has no prerequisites, features a variety of guest lecturers, and can be completed at the learner’s own pace—roughly five weeks with five to seven hours per week of study.

Reference: Lyle A. UAlberta launches free online Science Literacy course. University of Alberta Faculty of Science, Oct 13, 2020

The modules of the course are: Introduction to Science; Pseudoscience; Critical Thinking; Scientific Methods; and Interpreting Evidence

About the Course

We are often told not to believe everything we read online or see on TV—but how do we tell the difference between sensationalized statistics and a real scientific study? Learn how to spot

Read the rest

CBD Is Talked About as a Cure-All Online, Study Finds. But The Evidence Is Lacking

Posted 19 October 2020

“CBD is this generation’s snake oil,” argues lead author Eric Leas, who studies public health at UC San Diego, “as millions believing to have discovered a new medical breakthrough are actually taking a product without evidence of a benefit.”

Carly Cassella 19 October 2020

ScienceAlert

Cannabis-derived compounds like cannabidiol, better known as CBD, are often marketed as over-the-counter cure-alls, said to fix pretty much anything that ails you, from acne and chronic pain, to depression and sleep disorders.

Despite the lack of evidence to support any of these claims, new research suggests more and more people are buying into the supplement, even when other substantiated treatments exist.

With few available surveys on CBD use among the American public, researchers turned to the internet for answers.

Analysing hundreds of randomly selected testimonials from Reddit’s r/CBD forum between January 2014 and August 2019, the team found Read the rest