Questionable Motives

December 18, 2009

How do we know if Complimentary and Alternative ‘medical’ practices and products are worth healthcare money?

David Colquhoun published an excellent editorial this week in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) in which he looks back at the last 100 years of “secret remedies.” He points out that a century ago the medical establishment and government regulators tried to protect the public from unscientific patent remedies, but those efforts were anemic, and eventually faded away. Now we are in the midst of a resurgence of unscientific remedies, and those who should be protecting the public health are not even mounting a half-hearted defense.

Unless a practice or profession is based upon transparent evidence, how can meaningful regulation take place? If proponents can simply make up their own standards based upon ideology and philosophy, without being held to any external standard, the regulation is a farce.

It is a sad state of affairs when not only tabloids, but comedians, are doing a much better job of informing the public about the reality of homeopathy and other fantasy-based treatment than governments, medical organizations, and universities.

Read Steve’s entire article here at Neurologica.


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