New Concerns Raised about Naturopath Prescribing
A large coalition of seven Canadian allergy organizations recently wrote to the British Columbia Minister of Health, George Abbott, protesting the plan to allow naturopaths to perform allergy testing and treatment. See their letter here. (PDF) They make important comments about the serious potential impact on individual health as well as public health issues related to giving non-science-based individuals an expanded role in health care. Two of the most important are:
- “Unproven (e.g. electrodermal vega) and inappropriate (e.g. specific IgG to foods) testing methods are presently being carried out by Naturopaths for the diagnosis of food allergy. The use of such methods at the same time as food challenge testing can result in confusion and a diagnosis that is not evidence based. “ Vega testing is non-science based and completely bogus. It is apparently banned in Canada, but that does not stop naturopaths from openly advertising the testing.
- “Naturopaths’ lack of support for immunizations may extend to inappropriate beliefs that children are “allergic” to immunizations or components of their material. This has the potential to decrease herd or community immunity and increase the risk for epidemic disease. “ Kudos to the coalition for pointing out that naturopaths have been reported as being anti-vaccination – a point already acknowledged by the BC government!.
Why should pharmacists care about naturopaths, and naturopath prescribing? Because as a science-based profession, pharmacists need to speak up for the rational use of medications.
Homeopathy Awareness Week
While HAW has already passed, Dr. Steven Novella wrote an excellent article on homeopathy: its unsupported premise, its lack of efficacy, and why this elaborate placebo system seems to persist. Unfortunatly, pharmacies are a big part of problem when it comes to homeopathy. As I’ve pointed out before, pharmacists that endorse homeopathy are one of the biggest obstacles to keeping pharmacy a science-based profession.
Plus, if you didn’t already see this, here’s what might happen in a homeopathic emerg (CAN) /E.R. (USA) /A&E (UK):