Prof Roy Jobson, who fought against quackery, dies at 63

Posted 23 January 2019

Roy Jobson was my friend, my colleague, my sounding board, and a tower in the fight against pseudoscience, quackery and scams. I often asked him to check the reasoning and facts of my posts to CamCheck and he contributed a number of articles himself. His death is a loss to South Africa, the medical community, and in particular to his family. I have lost a true comrade, and ‘brother’. Dr Harris Steinman (Editor, CamCheck)

Prof Helen Rees, the Chairperson of SAHPRA (South African Health Products Regulatory Agency), had this to say:

On behalf of SAHPRA,  I would like to echo the sadness that has been expressed by so many colleagues at the passing of Roy Jobson who was a truly unique man. His passion for medicines and for public health was underpinned by his belief in equity and honesty. He made a great contribution to medicines Read the rest

Why an ineffective flu remedy (Oscillococcinum) is still being advertised in South Africa

Posted 21 January 2016

This article, copied from The Conversation, asks the question why Oscillococcinum is even on our shelves when the evidence does not support its use for flu.

Prof Roy Jobson, an Associate Professor of Clinical Pharmacology, Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, writes “A homeopathic flu product is being advertised in South Africa despite the fact that an internationally based review, and an update to it, have found the product to be ineffective”.

It is essential to read his article with this CamCheck article in mind: Absurdity of Oscillococcinum: ASA FAC ruling (opens in a new browser window)

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Jobson’s reply to CANSA’s 30 responses

Posted 4 April 2013

The Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) has given their “Smart Choice” Seal of Recognition to the product Omega Caro-E. CANSA claims not to “endorse products, but ‘awards its’ Seal to certain products”. This is disingenuous for this is after all, still a form of endorsement. And, as they demonstrate on their website, they are given the authority to do so by the Department of Health.

CANSA invited media and health professionals to a launch of their awarding of the “Smart Choice” Seal of Recognition to Omega Caro-E. The invitation stated that the product “can assist with reducing the risk of cancer and other noncommunicable diseases like diabetes and heart disease.” Prof Roy Jobson (Pharmacology, Rhodes University) wrote a letter to the CEO of CANSA, Ms Janse van Rensburg, asking for evidence that these claims were supported by scientific evidence, Read the rest

Abusing the MCC appeal process

Prof Roy Jobson has written an excellent article for Quackdown! on how companies are abusing the MCC (Medicines Control Council) appeal process.

Simply Slim and Adcock examples are given. 

Roy writes: 

"One of the ways in which companies can object to a decision made by the Medicines Control Council (MCC) is to appeal the decision in terms of Section 24 of the Medicines and Related Substances Act (Act 101 of 1965).

There are time limits and prescriptions as to how long it can take for an appeal to be lodged and how rapidly the Minister of Health must respond. It is reasonable to have such a clause in the Medicines Act for legitimate objections – but it should not be abused to delay the implementation of an MCC decision." 

You can read the rest here: -process/

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Letters: Simply Slim vs Prof. Roy Jobson

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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