Tag Archives | Alternative medicine

Health supplements, complementary medicines will soon no longer be regulated

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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

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Why do some registered medical practitioners promote CAM interventions?

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Posted 27 June 2020

An opinion, published in the Friends of Science in Medicine newsletter.

Why do some doctors, equipped with a science-based degree offering so many opportunities for a satisfying  professional  career,  join  the  ranks  of  raggle-taggle  quacks and  self-proclaimed experts?  These  range  from  outright  shonks  (eg  Gwyneth  Paltrow)  to  the  sincere,  but  befuddled, followers of rigid, ancient, pre-scientific belief systems.

I offer some thoughts on what might or might not answer this question.

  1. Science is hard work
    Learning can be described as ‘shallow’, ‘deep’ or ‘strategic’. Some students manage to scrape through  their  medical  degree  without  a  genuine  understanding  of  biomedical  science.  How  else could one explain their willingness to embrace pseudo-science?
  1. ‘Transactional’ medicine is unsatisfying
    Rather  than  simply  expanding  their  concept  of  good  medical  care,  some  make  a  ‘mind-body’  connection  through pseudo-science. They don’t realise that psychological medicine is as heavily reliant on science as is
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It’s time to stop giving snake oil salesmen the benefit of the doubt.

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Posted 20 May 2020

Centre for Enquiry April 13, 2020

[CamCheck does not focus on homeopathy. However, the points made in the article are appropriate for CamCheck by substituting ‘alternative medicine’ for homeopathy. Editor]

The makers of homeopathic medicine want it both ways.

  • They want their “drugs” to be treated like real medicine, to be able claim they can treat all kinds of ailments, and sell them right alongside evidence-based medicines on pharmacy shelves.
  • They also don’t want their products to be held to the same rigorous standards of safety and efficacy as real medicine. They don’t want to have to prove their stuff actually works, because, of course, they know it doesn’t.

Homeopathy is perhaps the most obviously phony form of alternative medicine, and we simply can’t assume that those who manufacture and market it are acting in good faith, any more than we assume positive intent from Read the rest

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“Alternative medicine” symposium published

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Posted 09 September 2019

The special, expanded September/October 2019 issue of Skeptical Inquirer magazine has as its theme “The Health Wars: Fighting Medical Pseudoscience” and includes these timely articles:

Full-text of the articles are available in the print issue and online, but a Skeptical Inquirer subscription is required for full-text online of all but the first two articles.

Source: Consumer Health Digest #19-36, September 8, 2019

Read the rest
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Death toll fears amid claims patients choose ‘natural remedies’ over conventional medicine

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Posted 28 January 2019

By Linda Hall -22 January 2019 @ 14:301

EuroWeeklyNews

THOUSANDS of people could be dying each year in Spain because they trust alternative medicine.

Between 1,210 and 1,460 deaths can be attributed to complementary and “natural remedies” according to Spain’s Association for Protection against Pseudo-Scientific Therapies (APETP).

Homeopathic products are available in most Spanish pharmacies and although universities are gradually withdrawing tuition, many still offer alternative medicine courses.

The situation is particularly serious in Madrid and Valencia, non-profitmaking APETP maintains, where at least 60 members of the Official Colleges of Physicians offer “dangerous pseudo-therapies,”

APETP members include patients affected by the effects of pseudo-medicine as well as doctors and medical researchers who welcomed the national government’s “war” on alternative therapies.

Last November Health and Science ministries presented ambitious plans which, if approved, will prevent both public and private health centres from offering treatments not backed by Read the rest

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Australia ends insurance subsidies for naturopathy, homeopathy, and more

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Posted 23 October 2017

The Australian government has eliminated the insurance subsidy for 17 alternative health practices due to a lack of evidence for efficacy.

An article by Scott Gavura, published in Science Based Medicine, makes the following points (extracts):

Public health care systems face criticism when they spend money on treatments that don’t work. With ageing populations and the rising cost of treatments, there’s more and more scrutiny of what these programs pay for. One of the most effective ways that insurance programs can reduce the use of a health service or treatment is to simply stop paying for it. But this is relatively uncommon, because once a benefit’s in place, there tends to be a lot of resistance to change – even if the move was wrongheaded to begin with. That’s one of the (many) reasons this blog has been critical of permitting the licensing of alternative-to-health Read the rest

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Labels Like ‘Alternative Medicine’ Don’t Matter. The Science Does.

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Posted 11 August 2015

This opinion piece was published on the New York Times website.

The author,  Aaron E. Carroll, makes a number of interesting points:

“People often think of Eastern or alternative medicine as more “natural.” Many feel that Western medicine is built around technology and products produced in a lab. They’re not entirely wrong. Many of the gains that have been made in traditional medicine have been the result of innovation in laboratories.”

“I would argue that all the therapies I mention here aren’t considered complementary therapies — they’re often just considered therapies. That’s because they’ve been studied, and they’ve proved to work. Too often, though, those who consider themselves supporters of alternative medicine disdain the idea that any of their treatments need to be studied.”

Read the article at the NYTimes

However,  Aaron E. Carroll, makes some serious errors. Orac has posted to Respectful Insolence a counterpoint … Read the rest

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