Mozi-Q is a product developed and sold by Canadian company Xerion Dispensary, and marketed as an insect repellant. But it’s effectively just a sugar pill. Mozi-Q is a “homeopathic” remedy which means that it has no active or medicinal ingredients. Homeopathy is a disproved alternative medicine system where the “remedies” are based on substances that are repeatedly diluted to the point that few, if any, molecules of the any original ingredients actually remain. Not surprisingly, there is no published evidence to demonstrate Mozi-Q works as an insect repellant. For the back story on how this product came to be approved by Health Canada despite a lack of evidence, see the older posts When homeopathy is approved as an insect repellent, there’s a serious regulatory problem and the follow-up, Mozi-Q – “Insect repellent you eat”. But does it work? In short, Mozi-Q is approved for sale only because it is considered a “Natural Health Product” by Health Canada. Under these circumstances, there are effectively no evidence standards required to market a product with medicinal or therapeutic claims. Continue reading →
Today’s post is a guest contribution from a Canadian pharmacist who is writing under the pseudonym Sara Russell:
Every morning I open up Facebook and expect to see the usual sharing of my friends’ latest adventures in pseudoscience, but it wasn’t until this morning that I felt compelled to write about something. A friend had posted this video asking for feedback. Continue reading →
Given their visibility in the pharmacy, a recurring topic of this blog are the category of products deemed “natural health products”. My philosophy towards their uses has changed over the years, and what was an “evidence-based” approach is now firmly a “science-based” approach. A central principle to science-based medicine or pharmacy is that all health interventions and treatments should be evaluated based on a single, scientific standard. One of the biggest successes of the alternative medicine industry, worldwide, has been the embedding of different regulatory standards for the evaluation and approval of so-called “non-drug” products such as supplements, herbal products, and non-scientific treatment systems like homeopathy or traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). The implications cannot be overstated: this different and lower standard is now so firmly entrenched in most health systems that few seem to question its rationale, or consider the consequences. As a practicing pharmacist I spent the first decade of my career working within this regulatory framework without ever stepping back to question why we regulate some products differently. Comparing two countries illustrates my point: Continue reading →
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