Tag Archives | Science-Based Pharmacy

Naturopathy’s fiercest and most-knowledgeable critic is being sued by a naturopath

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Posted 15 January 2018

From Science-Based Pharmacy

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Britt Marie Hermes is an ex-naturopath who has come clean about her time as a naturopath. This video explains her transition from naturopathy to science and evidence, and is well worth watching:

Britt is being sued by a naturopath who believes you can treat cancer with vitamins and baking soda. From Britt’s post:

Colleen Huber is a naturopathic cancer crusader and owner of Nature Works Best (NWB) naturopathic cancer clinic in Tempe, Arizona. She is not a medical doctor and, to the best of my knowledge, has no formal training in cancer research. Yet, Huber promotes herself as a cancer expert (herehere, and here) and is an outspoken critic of standard-of-care treatments for cancer. She wrote that “conventional treatments (chemo, radiation, etc.) sicken and weaken you and ultimately strengthen the disease.”

Huber treats cancer

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Towards more effective supplement regulation in Canada

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Posted 26 September 2016

Currently, natural health products are regulated in a manner similar to drugs – manufacturers must apply to Health Canada for a licence to sell and products are assigned a unique number that must appear on product labels to signal the department’s approval. But unlike drugs makers, natural health product manufacturers are not required to provide robust evidence that a product works before it’s allowed on the market.

Under the proposed new system Health Canada would bring natural health products, over-the-counter drugs and cosmetics under one set of rules and regulate them based on the potential health risks they pose.

The new regime would classify many vitamin, mineral and homeopathic products and cosmetics as “low risk,” meaning they would not be licensed by Health Canada. Manufacturers would still have to meet Health Canada’s quality standards, but they would be prohibited from making disease treatment or prevention claims Read the rest

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Alternative Medicine and the Ethics Of Commerce

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Posted 16 March 2016

Scott Gavura, a pharmacist, publishes to his own website, Science-based Pharmacy. His articles, always thought provoking, are cross-posted to Science-based Medicine.

In this article, titled “The questionable ethics of selling complementary and alternative medicine”, he points out that like other critics, “I looked at CAM from a scientific evidence perspective, the one I was taught in pharmacy school, using the same approach I’d take when assessing a new drug. Did the evidence support the claims made about these products, or not? The answers, as you might expect, were often the same. There was little or no credible evidence to demonstrate CAM had any meaningful benefits”.

He and Professor Chris MacDonald of Ryerson University have now focused on the ethics of selling CAMS, now published in the journal Bioethics, a peer-reviewed paper on the same topic: “Alternative Medicine and the Ethics of Commerce.”Read the rest

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Review of 17 “alternative” therapies finds no evidence of effectiveness

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Posted 22 November 2015

The Australian government recently undertook a review of natural products covered by private health insurance. It did this for two main reasons: The first was to ensure that private insurance plans were paying for “clinically proven” treatment. The second was based on concerns about tax dollars being used to subsidize ineffective treatments. The government provides a rebate on private insurance, and questions were raised about the extent to which the government was effectively subsidizing “natural” therapies that were not supported by good evidence yet were still being paid for through insurance. So in 2012 the government announced a review of natural treatments to determine if these therapies were effective, safe, and provided good value for money.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the report has concluded:

The Private Health Insurance Rebate will be paid for insurance products that cover natural therapy services only where the Chief Medical Officer

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Should regulators treat the supplement industry like the tobacco industry?

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Posted 21 December 2015

Scott Gavura, a pharmacist, has posted an excellent article on his blog ‘Science-Based Pharmacy’, in prompted by an article titled “Should states and local governments regulate dietary supplements?” published in the journal, Drug Testing and Analysis. (abstract reproduced below)

He writes:

“The idea that “natural” products are safe and effective has been so effectively marketed to us that many don’t recognize it as a fallacy. Much of the supplement industry is built around an appeal to nature. Supplements are described as natural, gentle, and “holistic”. Medicine, especially prescription drugs, is the opposite. They’re “chemicals”. They’re risky and dangerous – just look at that list of side effects!”.

He states: “Supplement regulation: A travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham” and points out this cautionary tale:

“Claims made about the efficacy Read the rest

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Science-based pharmacy: supplements, deck stacked against consumers

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Posted 27 September 2015

Scott Gavura is the pharmacist behind Science-Based Pharmacy. In a post of  24 September 2015, titled Pine bark and ginkgo for tinnitus? A closer look at “Ear Tone”, a supplement marketed to treat tinnitushe makes a number of points about why he blogs which I share and identify with. He writes (extracts):

“Why do you bother blogging?” asked a colleague. “You take hours of your personal time to write, and you do it for free.

I blog for the same reason that I became a pharmacist: to help people use medicines more effectively.

Yes I do get regular hate mail, and the occasional legal threat, but there’s also gratitude for a post that resonated with someone, or helped them make better decisions about their health.

When buying supplements, the deck is stacked against consumers
One of my recurring (and favourite) blog topics Read the rest

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Why pharmacists should not sell homeopathic medicines

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Posted 27 July 2015

Mr Scott Gavura, a Canadian pharmacist, has written an article criticising Canadian pharmacists for stocking homeopathic medicines alongside conventional medicines.

We have a similar situation here in South Africa.

Mr Gavura ends his article with this powerful admonition: “Pharmacists ought to know better, and they ought to do better. It’s time for the profession to act in the interests of patients. Homeopathy has no place in today’s pharmacy practice.”

The same applies to South African pharmacists.

You can read the full article at: https://sciencebasedpharmacy.wordpress.com/2015/07/26/pharmacies-professionalism-and-homeopathy/

Mr Gavura also has a facebook page worth looking at: https://www.facebook.com/ScienceBasedPharmacy

It should be noted that in South Africa, according to the standards of “Good Pharmacy Practice” (GPP) published by the South African Pharmacy Council, pharmacists  “. . . must not purchase, sell or supply any medicinal product where the pharmacist has any reason to doubt its safety, quality or … Read the rest

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Registering bogus products with NNHPD of Health Canada

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Posted 16 March 2015

Marketplace, an investigative television program shown on CBC (Canadian broadcasting corporation) applied for approval to market a homeopathic remedy they named “Nighton” to be used to treat fever and pain in infants and children. However the product was bogus. The program shows how easy manufacturers can register bogus products with  the Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate. (NNHPD) of Health Canada.

The background to this and the video is available on the blog Science-Based Pharmacy.

Science-Based Pharmacy  has been critical for years about the lack of oversight where the Natural Health Products Directorate (NHPD) is concerned. (The NHPD recently changed its name to the Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate. (NNHPD))

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