Posted 15 May 2015
It is one thing to sell a product that has no proof of benefit, another to claim it is more effective than one that has.
Lebron, the local agents for Oscillococcinum – a homeopathic product that claims to be effective for the symptoms of flu and colds (but is not), have made the repugnant suggestion in a press-release that “flu vaccines may not work”, and that Oscillococcinum should be used instead. The press release misleadingly does not point out that flu vaccines DO work – but not for a specific strain of flu that may emerge, and infers that therefore one should consider not using a flu vaccine and instead use Oscillococcinum.
The press release claims: “A reputable medicine such as Oscillococcinum . . ” Let us be clear: Oscillococcinum is a scam: there is zero proof that it is effective. In 2012, Boiron, the manufacturers settled a class action suite in the USA for claiming that it was effective.
In 2009 the USA Federal Trade Commission sent a warning letter to companies making a similar claim but for the H1N1 Flu Virus.
Furthermore, Oscillococcinum flouts the current South African regulations in that they are claiming prevention and treatment of a disease with no regard for the associated labeling disclaimer.
The practitioner involved, Dr Erika Coertzen, can be charged with unprofessional conduct and the Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC) will be notified. Dr Coertzen has also disregarded the regulations of the AHP Act.