Part Fills for October 6

Another set of links and articles of interest to SBP readers…

The board of NHS Highland has agreed to end future support for homeopathic treatments for its patients. Which is a science-based decision. Unfortunately, some homeopaths are telling patients that homeopathy can replace the MMR vaccine. And no, this doesn’t seem restricted to the United Kingdom – homeopathic vaccinations seem to be readily available in Canada, too.

Homeopathy for insomnia: A systematic review of research evidence. No surprise, there’s no evidence to suggest any meaningful effects.

Contrary to what CTV says, acupuncture’s effects haven’t been shown to be anything more than placebo effects. So there’s no persuasive evidence to suggest that acupucture provides any meaningful benefit to cancer patients.

Pharmacy Practice
Parents, Relax. Don’t Keep Them From School. It’s Just Lice, says the New York Times. See my prior blog posts on lice here and here. Contrary to what school boards may tell you, school-wide screening doesn’t help, and no-nit policies are not evidence-based.

Dextromethorphan (DM) abuse: An FDA advisory committee has decided that over-the-counter cough syrups don’t need tighter distribution restrictions that would classify them as controlled substances, despite continuing signs that the meds are regularly abused. No similar announcement from Health Canada, yet.

All those aromatase inhibitor prescriptions you’re filling for body builders? No, it isn’t breast cancer.

Other Alt-Health
It might surprise you, but drinking industrial bleach isn’t a smart weight-loss strategy.

Regulate the provision of nonsense, you still get nonsense. Interesting post on licensing alternative health practitioners.

Fake disease alert! The Endocrine Society is warning people that “adrenal fatigue” and “Wilson’s temperature syndrome” are not actually real medical conditions.

From Skeptic North
Curious what’s in the homeopathic remedy “Vagininum”?
My post about pseudoscience at the running expo.
British Columbians are Paying for Acupuncture …and Who Knows What Else.
Reviews of two fantastic books: Risk by Dan Gardner and The Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan.

From Science-Based Medicine

Confronting Pseudoscience. James Randi, Dr. Ben Goldacre, Dr. Michael Shermer, and Dr. David Gorski. October 18/19 in Montreal. Looks like a fantastic program.
Chiropractic Vertebral Subluxations: Science vs. Pseudoscience
The mammography wars heat up again
Using attacks on science by the anti-vaccine movement as a “teachable moment”
Aspartame – Truth vs Fiction
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Lots of Speculation
Skepticamps invade the Great White North on October 23. Free events in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Ottawa and Toronto.

2 thoughts on “Part Fills for October 6

  1. Looks like the denialists are gatehring again for some more mutual back patting. Funny about Goldacre, though. When I was in England last week, Goldacre was invited by Nobel laureate Brian Josephson to the Cavendish Laboratories on October 1st, to attend a brief talk on the supramolecular chemistry of clathrate hydrates and liquid aqueous structuring (LAS), what is now being looked at in supramolecular terms as the distinct ingredients of homeopathic remedies. Mysteriously though, Goldacre begged off, saying he had a boring day job. This would have been an excellent opportunity for him to tell us that whereas clathrates prove LAS is a reality, it doesn’t have any relevance to homeopathy, and to confront and dismiss new studies, such as that from Nobel laureate Luc Montagnier, that show anomalous electromagnetic indices for some LAS. Now I read here that he’s flying off to Toronto to preach to the denilist choir? Goodness me, what happened to the boring day job? Gosh, this would have been a chance to learn something new instead of rehashing old foregone conclusions.
    John Benneth

  2. John Benneth:
    It does not matter one whit whether or not there is some interesting chemistry in water. Clathrate hydrates are not new, and they don’t prove homeopathy true, any more than quantum theory did (see Milgrom’s incomprehensible babble about quantum entanglement and the homeopath/patient relationship).

    Neat water chemistry or not, the fact is that homeopathy doesn’t work, as has been shown in trial after trial, after trial. And grasping at actual science to try to claim proof of the scientific basis of your outdated quackery is pathetic.

    Scott: has anyone tried to get criminal charges leveled against homeopaths? The NHPD doesn’t really have any ability to punish, only to force removal of health claims – however, one could make the case that pushing non-approved remedies for which there is no evidence of effectiveness is a form of fraud. While misconduct by a doctor or naturopath might be addressed through their licencing bodies, there is no such body for homeopaths, which would mean that it falls to the police to handle such charges.

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