Tag Archives | Complementary Medicines

Pet food advertising is better regulated than complementary medicines advertising

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Posted 08 February 2013

By Roy Jobson

In this article, published on Quackdown!, which is quite technical but nevertheless an important read, Professor Roy Jobson of Rhodes University’s Faculty of Pharmacy’s Pharmacology Division explains that we should consider using the current advertising code for pet food as a guide to improving the code for complementary medicines.

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Health Intelligence – misguiding the public?

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Update 15 May 2012: I have been sent evidence that “horse chestnut” (listed as “esculin”) was scheduled as S3 in December 1979.

Posted 12 May 2012

Health Intelligence magazine states on its front cover as a byline: “The Science of Health.” In its advertising blurb on its associated company Solal Technologies’ website, it is stated to be “Sophisticated. Cutting edge. Credible.” The editorials in Edition 15 (May 2012) are however misleading, and disturbingly so.

The first [text] editorial by Colin Levin bemoans the new food labelling regulations from the Department of Health as having gone too far “[i]n their noble intention to prevent (sic) consumers from misleading claims.” He even quotes the Health Products Association of South Africa (HPA) which is “disappointed” that the regulations don’t address the relationship between certain food (sic) and various diseases.

So what’s the problem?

If Mr Levin and/or his editorial team Read the rest

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MCC and a decade of deliberate deception

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Posted 22 February 2012

This is a statement by the South African Association for Responsible Health Information and Advertising (ARHIA). It has been released on the 10th anniversary of a notice in the government gazette that has undermined the scientific governance of medicine in South Africa.

The Decade

Wednesday 22 February 2012 marks the tenth anniversary of the call up of "medicines frequently referred to as complementary medicines". This "call up" initiated by the Medicines Control Council (MCC) ten years ago was intended to be an audit of the complementary medicines market over a six month period, but its unintended consequences have resulted in a ten year deluge of dubious and unproven products to the detriment of people living in South Africa.

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More sex = a longer life? Really???

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The local South African magazine Health Intelligence Edition 12 proclaims on its cover: "Passion promotes health – sex for a longer life".

 

(Note: The highlighting box has been added.) On page 20 the article has the title: "Sex, so necessary for positive health: sex is a buzzword that defies trendsetting and social mores, staying top of mind and tip of tongue" and is written by Kirsten Alexander.  It is seemingly supported by 12 "scientific references" .

The Solal Technologies website Health Intelligence includes the following "product information": "Health Intelligence goes further and deeper [than other health magazines], because our focus falls squarely on the facts. Health Intelligence offers breakthrough science, enabling you to better protect your health. Thoroughly researched and using only the latest, peer-reviewed studies by leading international and local experts, Health Intelligence articles are not only credible, they are revolutionary, all the while offering life-enhancing Read the rest

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Are All Medicines Now Equal?

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Posted 23 October 2011

Law in Practice: Complementary and Alternative Medicines Regulations: Are All Medicines Now Equal?

By Elsabe Klink: Medical Chronicle

October 10, 2011

In July 2011, the Minister of Health published, on the advice of the Medicines Control Council (MCC), draft regulations on complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs). Unlike previous versions of drafts aiming to regulate CAMs, this draft version is an amendment to the 2003 General Regulations on Medicines, thereby bringing complementary medicine into the realm of the general definition of ‘medicines’. Amendments other than those relating to complementary medicines are also proposed in the draft.

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MCC guidelines on “Complementary medicines”

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Posted 12 August 2011

The MCC has released the draft guidelines on "Complementary medicines -Quality, safety, and efficacy" for comments from industry.

As the MCC web site appears to be down frequently, I am posting access to this document h ere.

The deadline for comment is 22 September 2011. I would urge anyone (not just "industry") who is interested in ensuring that all complementary medicines on the market are of adequate quality, are safe, and actually do what they claim to do, to submit comments if you have any, to the Registrar of the MCC, Ms Mandisa Hela. Her email address is [email protected].

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Distorting Evidence: A South African Example

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One of the cardinal sins of any researcher is to tamper with their data to make them ‘fit’ the results they were wanting. A recent international example is that of Dr Andrew Wakefield, who published articles in the reputable Journal ‘The Lancet’, which apparently showed a causal link between the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine and autism. Fortunately his deception was uncovered; he was struck off the roll of the General Medical Council in the UK; and The Lancet retracted his articles. The tragedy is that many people did not have their children vaccinated because of this deception, and a number of these unvaccinated children went on to develop measles and some even died. Others may have to cope with the consequences for years to come.

Hot on the heels of the sin of such deceptive fraud must surely be when other persons’ legitimate research results are misrepresented to promote a … Read the rest

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How Solal Technologies uses legal threats to stifle legitimate criticism

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A hard-hitting article by Marcus Low, and posted to Quackdown!*,  starts: 

"Solal Technologies sells supplements that it claims are remedies or prophylactics for a whole range of diseases, including HIV, cancer, hypertension and depression. Naturally, Solal has faced criticism for these claims." 

"Solal's response has been to instruct their attorneys to send lawyers' letters threatening to sue their critics."

Quackdown! is a joint project of the Treatment Action Campaign, Community Media Trust and several individuals.

The article continues at Quackdown!

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Letters: Simply Slim vs Prof. Roy Jobson

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Lance Rothschild, the PR person for Simply Slim, submitted this letter for publication in the Mail&Guardian essentially objecting to Prof. Roy Jobson’s blog, Simply Slim ‘defies’ the MCC, on the Mail & Guardian’s Thought Leader blog. Below Rothschild’s contribution is Prof. Jobson’s rejoinder. The Mail&Guardian have however not published either of the letters in the three weeks since submission, so it is unlikely that they will be published in the M&G. I have taken the liberty of publishing them here, with thanks to Prof Jobson for passing them on to me.

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