Weekend Reading

Don't just stand there, read something!
It’s getting to be that time of year again, as long weekends appear, and summer vacation beckons for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. Here are some links to article you may find interesting:

Unbelievable and fascinating, on the US pill mill market: American Pain: The Largest U.S. Pill Mill’s Rise and Fall.

Eat fish, and leave the fish oil bottles on the pharmacy’s shelf.

A chiropractor diagnoses a “liver parasite” using applied kinesiology and treats it with a herb.  This credulous story of complete quackery debunked by Steven Novella.

A must-read:

In the last four years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has found violations of manufacturing rules in half of the nearly 450 dietary supplement firms it has inspected, according to agency officials. The inspection reports portray an industry struggling to meet basic manufacturing standards, from verifying the identity of the ingredients that go into its products to inspecting finished batches of supplements.

More, from the very excellent Trine Tsouderos of the Chicago Tribune.

Drug Store News has a list of OTC hot products, most of which are complete quackery. At least the insulin cooling case looks legitimate.

In the UK: Pharmacists must put care before commerce. Changes to the way that pharmacies operate will allow people to buy medicines that currently require professional advice.

A radio interview with Professor William M. London, a specialist in the study of health-related superstition, pseudoscience, sensationalism, schemes, scams, frauds, deception, and misperception.

I previously wrote about coconut water and the naturalistic fallacy  – here’s an item on coconut water from NPR that’s largely aligned with what I wrote.

More on the unvalidated and clinically useless IgG food intolerance tests being sold by pharmacies – the Advertising Standards Authority has recently cited a vendor for misleading advertising.

Rutaesomn Sleep Aid – De-caffeinating Chill Pills? Try implausible and unproven supplement – and apparently created by a pharmacist. David Kroll neatly and succinctly debunks. Also see David Bradley’s post – where the manufacturer shows up in the comments.

For the runners out there:

Finally, a video from Dr. Joe Schwarcz on the importance of skepticism in science – and the absurdity of “chemical free”.

Enjoy the weekend!

Photo from flickr user looseends used under a CC licence.

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