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Superstition

Britain’s leading pharmacists’ organisation is being urged to crack down on high street chemists that sell homeopathic remedies, amid accusations that they are in breach of their own ethical guidelines.

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In an open letter to the society, Edzard Ernst, the country’s only professor of complementary medicine, criticises high street pharmacists for selling homeopathic remedies without informing customers that they contain no biologically active agents and are no more effective than sugar pills.

The ethical code states that pharmacists who sell homeopathic remedies, herbal medicines or other complementary therapies, “must assist patients in making informed decisions” by providing them with “necessary and relevant information”.

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“My plea is simply for honesty. Let people buy what they want, but tell them the truth about what they are buying. These treatments are biologically implausible and the clinical tests have shown they don’t do anything at all in human beings.

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“There may be a place, where the patient demands it, for harmless faith-based therapies. Whether that place is in a pharmacy is what the profession must address.”

I gotta say, I have always found it incomprehensible that these quack remedies occupy shelves in pharmacies. How can a trained health professional sell this drek and sleep at night?

In a statement, a Boots spokesperson said: “Homeopathy is recognised by the NHS

Which says far more about the NHS and how much influence that blithering idiot Cherie Blair had on government policy than it does on the efficacy of distilled water in solving medical problems.

Did I ever mention that I once, for a short time, had a girlfriend who had a ‘degree’ in homoeopathy? For our entire association, if I wanted continued access to her physical affections I had to keep my tongue firmly bitten.

2 Comments

  1. NickM says:

    I know the Kitty Kounter knows this. What is the ultimate test of a drug? It’s called a double-blind trial. They now do triple-blind ones but while that’s the platinum standard we can regard double-blind as the gold standard and therefor good enough.

    Now the degree of dilution involved in concoting homeopathic remedies is such that chemically they are indistinguashable from placebos. I don’t mean junior high-school tetrations either. I mean the full armoury of modern science.

    This means that you cannot test them against placebos because they are identical to the placebos. There is conning folk and there is homeopathy. It is hogwash of an epic level.

    It actually makes crystal healing look respectable. Prince Charles believes in it. A coupla years ago one of my Profs at Nottingham (a fella I knew moderately well) got the Medicine Nobel for his work on MRI. He deserved it. Homeopathy isn’t even snake-oil. It’s nothing.

    Cats, how can you be physically affectionate with a loon? I mean Cameron Diaz is a fit bird but after I heard she’d done an eco-tourist thing on MTV which famously included Drew Barrymore describing shitting in the woods as “awesome”. Yeah, that Drew Barrymore. You know the one who gets $20m a film and who’s Beverley Hills bathroom probably cost more than the Central American village without modern sanitation where she had her awesome experience makes in a bloody decade.

    Like everyone else I saw The Mask and thought in the trouser area about Ms Diaz but when I heard of this lunacy I decided I’d rather bump uglies with Ann Widdecome. I have my disagreements with Ms Widdecome but they are at least rational disagreements. I disagree with a lot she believes but I don’t find it risible. And a 20 mil a movie actress describing taking a dump in the woods as “awesome” is risible. It is beyond contempt. Especially because they didn’t do the follow-up where these potless villagers visted her mansion and found her hot-tub and power-shower pretty bloody awesome and then changed the locks so Ms Barrymore could spend more time communing with nature in an ursine manner.

  2. RAB says:

    Jeez! What some folk will do to get laid ;-)

    There’s been a Homeopathic hospital in Bristol for donkeys years.I used to have a flat just down the hill in Hampton Road.

    Lovely old building, and superb grounds and gardens.

    There’s gold in them there Pills you see!

    This is where animal testing comes into it’s own.
    Dogs dont understand the placebo effect, they either get better or not.
    Everytime homeopathy has been tried on animals it has been a complete failure.
    Bunk! pure and simple, but if people want to waste their hard earned on magic beans….

    Drew apparently had the double jungle Cheeseburger and large fries, the night before!

    Did you ever go in that herbalist shop in Mansfield Road Nick?
    It was like going into Hogwarts spells storeroom.

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