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Homeopathy Exposed in UK Government Report

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The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has just reported back after its Evidence Check on Homeopathy and the results are well worth reading. It is expected and accepted that the UK government should base its decisions and policy on evidence and similarly manage government expenditure on the same basis.

The committee consisted of liberal democrat MP Phil Willis, and thirteen other MPs drawn from across the political spectrum and its remit is to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Government Office for Science.

The purpose of the Evidence Check is to look at government policy and examine on what evidence it is based. The first Evidence Check was carried out on Early Literacy Interventions, and this, the second looked at homeopathy. In particular it looked at the provision of homeopathy through the National Health Service, and also at the licensing of homeopathic products through the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Homeopathic treatments in the UK were available before there was any mechanism for the control and regulation of prescription medicines, and since 1948, there have been some homeopathic hospitals funded by the NHS. So the committee examined the evidence used to support the continuing policy of providing homeopathic remedies on the NHS. In particular, in cash-strapped times, they questioned whether it can be justified to put state funding into these therapies.

To examine the evidence base, they invited written and oral submissions from the homeopathic industry, the National Health Service, government advisers and a range of experts both supportive and critical of homeopathy. They outlined in the report what sorts of evidence can be accepted as proof of efficacy, and also of effectiveness. The distinction is important, especially to supporters of homeopathy.

Efficacy tests whether treatment works under ideal conditions, whereas effectiveness looks at whether it will work in real-world circumstances. For example, efficacy may be proved in a clinical trial, but the side effects may make it unacceptable in the real world. It would thus be efficacious but not effective. Supporters of homeopathy have argued that although efficacy cannot be shown, effectiveness can.

The report examined this position in detail and presented an analysis of how a treatment can appear to be effective without being efficacious. It is called the placebo effect. Clearly, if the evidence on homeopathy showed it to be the placebo effect, then government spending on prescribing placebos would raise ethical issues. And if the evidence which has been used to guide government policy was based on anecdotal reports from people who feel better without evidence of being better, then this undermines the evidentiary basis of health decisions.

The report looked in detail at the evidence for efficacy provided by the British Homeopathic Association. The BHA claimed: "Four out of five comprehensive reviews of systematic RCTs (randomised controlled trials) in homeopathy reached the qualified conclusion that homeopathy differs from placebo." Unfortunately, that was blatantly untrue. Professor Edzard Ernst pointed out that the reviews did not reach the conclusions claimed by the BHA. In fact, quite the reverse. And in selecting their evidence, the BHA had ignored the systematic reviews and meta-analyses which arrived at negative conclusions.

After evaluating the evidence presented, the committee reached the conclusion that "the systematic reviews and meta-analyses conclusively demonstrate that homeopathic products perform no better than placebos." And the UK government shares that view. Despite the opportunity, the BHA could not find any evidence for the efficacy of homeopathy. In addition, it could provide no credible explanation for why it might ever work.

So the UK is funding hospitals based on a form of treatment which is demonstrated to be no better than a placebo. That means the practitioners are regularly deceiving patients about the treatment they are receiving and doing so with state funding. Clearly this is an embarrassing position for the government to be in.

Part of the justification for this state of affairs lies in the fact that homeopathic remedies have eluded regulation and control. Back in 1968, the Medicines Act required medicines to have a Product Licence of Rights (PLR) before they could be sold on the UK market. Unfortunately, anything already there got an automatic PLR and that included almost all the homeopathic remedies.

When in 1992, the European directive introduced a "simplified scheme" for homeopathic remedies, there was no requirement for any demonstration of efficacy so once again they slipped through the regulation process. Then in 2006, the MHRA tried to combine the regulations into a National Rules Scheme which meant that the products had to be registered. The application was supposed to be "supported by a dossier on quality, safety, and efficacy".

Once again though, homeopathic remedies were made exempt so they never were required to have evidence of efficacy, despite the MHRA's own rules demanding it. Whereas other health preparations have to abide by rules about labelling and patient information, homeopathic remedies do not. In the UK, they can continue to claim that they treat various conditions despite there being no active ingredient. It remains legal to misinform patients with spurious claims of efficacy because the MHRA has granted licences to these products.

This report's damning conclusions should make the UK government sit up and take notice. Already one health care trust has closed its homeopathic hospital and others are set to do the same. Universities have, with a certain amount of embarrassment, closed down their degree courses in homeopathy and there are questions being asked about vocational courses and their evidentiary basis.

Homeopathy is a very successful marketing of the placebo effect, providing sugar pills with no active ingredient. It is based on lying to patients and is therefore unethical. It is to be welcomed that the UK government has produced this report but there remains the rather shadowy influence of bodies such as the Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health which promotes Woo practices under the guise of patient choice and integration. But integrating the placebo effect as a main form of treatment is both unethical and pointless.

The quacklash is getting under way.

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About Bob Lloyd

  • [It works by influencing the vibration of cells in the body and is linked to the same effect as acupuncture. All cells vibrate in the body at a given frequency and when they are vibrating at the correct frequency a state of good health,and good cellular metabolism occurs.When for instance tissue salts or remedies are potentised by dilution and succussion in homeopathic preparations,the preparations have a measureable frequency]

    That statement is the problem. The idea that cells vibrate at a certain frequency is simply an unfounded assertion. All things, including chairs and tables, have a fundamental vibrational frequency, but cells do not have a specific resonance frequency related to their metabolic function. That is simply untrue and has been demonstrated to be so. Homeopaths either don’t understand the science or refuse to acknowledge the results. There have been citings of biophysical papers discussing electrical and magnetic properties of tissue but there is no evidence that these very small scale effects have anything whatsoever to do with the claims of homeopaths – they have simply annexed the ideas to their claims.

    The claim that tissue salts and remedies are potentised has been disproved over and over again. It simply isn’t the case that there is any change whatsoever in the state of the solutions, such as they are, as a result of the shaking process called succussion and claiming they have a measurable frequency is simply untrue.

    The challenge to homeopaths when they make such statements is to state the frequency and then demonstrate it. They don’t and can’t. They therefore have no plausible reason for believing it to be true, they simply repeat it like a mantra.

    Unfortunately homeopathy has had a century of opportunity to produce some evidence and it has consistently failed. Supporters of homeopathy are wilfully blind when it comes to the need for evidence and repeating disproved theories over and over doesn’t get away from the fact that there is nothing there. No profound frequencies, no underlying hidden energy, no quantum effects, no succussion, no potentising, just wishful thinking which conveniently gets packaged into very profitable products.

    With all the marvellous claims of homeopathy, it should be ludicrously easy to demonstrate the evidence but every attempt has failed miserably. That’s not a conspiracy at all, it’s simply the fact that when tested homeopathy has failed abjectly to show any effect at all.

    The research provided from China has been the subject of careful scrutiny because if correct, there would have been a case to take homeopathy seriously. Unfortunately, the reviews by the Cochrane Collaboration and many others has shown up systematic errors in the reporting, appallingly bad trial construction, rampant dishonesty and deception, and the invention of results. It is sad that such “evidence” apparently cannot be repeated because unless that is the case, it isn’t evidence. The same standard is applied to all medical research so there is no conspiracy. Check out the published work of Edzard Ernst (much of which is available on open access through PubMed) where he looks in detail at these papers.

    By the way, chi and meridians are also in need of some evidence of their existence – they are just fanciful ideas.

  • Howard

    Unfortunately many of you have the mode of action of homeopathics totally wrong. Homeopathy does not work on the miniscule
    unmeasurable ( by chemical instruments) amounts of active ingredient in the product and never has claimed to. It works by influencing the vibration of cells in the body and is linked to the same effect as acupuncture. All cells vibrate in the body at a given frequency and when they are vibrating at the correct frequency a state of good health,and good cellular metabolism occurs.When for instance tissue salts or remedies are potenised
    by dilution and succussion in homeopathic preparations,the preparations have a measureable frequency . I have a colleague who manufactures biomedical machines in Hong Kong with the capability of measuring the effect of homeopathic preparations on the acupuncture meridians. His instruments are supplied in China to accupuncturists who also use homeopathic and herbal preparations to induce wellness through influencing ” chi” flow through the meridians. Homeopaths work in a similar way by administering preparations that are usually liquid that teach human cells to vibrate at the correct frequency. All the British ” so called scientist politicians” like Michael Brooks and the 13 members of the British Parliament are actually being manipulated by sceptics not scientists and have no understanding of chinese medicine or homeopathy , aruveydic medicine or Hhanneman’s priciples. I once had a medical doctor question me ” name one herb that has ever been used as a medicine? ” This kind of ignorance clearly shows the NON SCIENTIFIC approach of medical doctors and so called mainstream scientists to real life sciences.Many eminent scientists in universities all over Europe and Asia have spent their academic lives conducting research into the effect of natural products but this work is snubbed by thewestern medical profession who whilst do wonderful things in trauma etc. have a poor record in preventative medicine and public health.

  • David McReynolds

    Vote Bob!

  • A friend suggested that funding for homeopathy should abide by homeopathic principles, namely it should be based on infinite dilutions. So for example, starting with around 20 million pounds to refit the London Homeopathic Hospital, that should have been diluted 1:100 with nothing so that after four time dilution, making a C4 preparation (they normally use C30 or C100), they would get around 20p, but oh that funding would be so powerful they could do remarkable things with it 🙂

    But to my mind, even 20p is too much. They should be required to pay back the wasted money. A surtax on homeopathic companies who received UK state funding should help redress the balance.

  • David McReynolds

    I think I should come clean here, that was my first ever contribution on a bloging page and I wasn’t expecting it to be ‘published’. Thanks for your reply Bob and I should point out that when I said your articles conclusion ‘makes no difference’ I didn’t mean to dismiss its usefullness, only the impact that it might have. Being a UK resident its a source of much embarrasment to me that our government props up such a rediculous institution!
    Given the fact that the placebo effect can only work if you believe in the healing power of the placebo, it’s interesting to speculate as to what would happen if the NHS withdrew support and publicly denounced it as quackery. Would there still be a market for it privately? Yes of course, for the same reason as above, they want to believe in it. But faced with the cost of doing so it would certainly decline. (Although just how pure water can be expensive is a bit of a mystery!?). It’s simply not acceptable for the UK government to be in this business and if any politician had the guts to denounce it I might even consider voting for him!

  • Of course some people will believe what they want to believe but there is a real corrosive effect of such irrationality being accepted into mainstream society with the appearance of Woo qualifications, associations, claims to professionalism, authentication by government bodies, and even funding by the state.

    When such irrational ideas get accepted by the establishment, we end up with nonsense degrees being delivered by otherwise reputable universities, and we get kids being trained in fatuous nonsense like “energy sensing skills” as if they were acquiring training that will provide them with meaningful employment.

    At the same time it makes acceptable, completely irrational ideas about cause and effect in health and misunderstanding of how the human body actually functions.

    I totally agree that for some people, they are beyond reach and will persist in irrational beliefs regardless of the evidence. But having said that, there are very many of them who, although they persist in irrational faith, will actually get a broken bone set, will willingly go to the hospital to get traumas treated, will go to a dentist rather than a healing touch therapist when they have toothache, and will undergo a mammogram to test for breast cancer. So reason hasn’t completely been extinguished in them.

    That fact alone is enough to provide some optimism that we can reach these people and build on that residual rationality. Of course the many Woo businesses will pump out as much irrational propaganda as possible to sustain their profitable markets. At least with this recent UK report, it becomes less easy for the UK state to acquiesce in providing financial support for bogus therapies like homeopathy.

  • David McReynolds

    A very interesting and well written article.
    That homeopathy works through the placebo effect is not news to anyone of reasonable intelligence, but it makes no difference to point this out for one simple reason…
    There is a group of people in every society that no matter what evidence you present to them, will continue to believe what they want to believe. This may seem a rather bland and obvious statement but it accounts for much of the stupidity we still see in modern societies. Religion, ‘spirtuality’ (whatever that is), mysticism, UFO’s, crop circles can all be ‘explained’ by this simple and universal rule… people believe in what they WANT to believe in… bearing that in mind, what hope is there for a rational society!?

  • Yes Bob,

    Just as you said in your comment. The proof of it is above mine, right here in this thread.

    :)bye, I’ll see you later. lol

  • “hold a candle to . . .” idiom

    Now I’m going to be pried open like a can of sardines.

    Woe is me.

  • #s 24 through 27 don’t belong on this thread.


  • That’s why Clavos, ugly as sin – both inside and out – has no lesser ego than I. In fact, in that particular respect, we’re evenly matched. (Of course, he excels in matters of erudition, native intelligence, clear thinking and last but not least, immaculate grammar. There’s no way I could hold the candle for him in the mentioned respects, however hard I try. Even so, I try!)

    And if this doesn’t prove the utter superiority of the male subspecies, I don’t know what will.

  • We are the peacocks of the species, just admit it.

  • I’m surprised, Jeannie, you don’t know that men have far greater ego than women – especially beautiful men.

    After all, Narcissus was a man, or so the legend says.

  • Wait until I send in my picture. That will be the proper object for framing.

  • Thank You, for that beautiful and intelligent comment. I’m framing it!

  • Oh, like fortune-tellers use.

    The touch therapist was also a nurse educator at one time before entering this field; in fact, many of my mother’s nurses were former students of hers.

    You should have seen their reaction to her presence there! They were in shock, and you can just imagine how they acted towards my brother and me afterwards. I would say, “They were, cautious.”

    I find many people act cautious, when I approach them. Why is this? I wonder…You are a very intelligent person Bob, I like that. You allow me to question and learn simultaneously.
    So many people just want you to take what they say as gospel-truth. They forget that the gospel was written by human-imperfect-man.

    :]thanks! Now, what’s this land of woo? I did break a vertebrae, so I can’t sit for long periods of time right now. Also, I am trying to get an article out, dealing with the Republican participation in the health care bill. So, I’ll check back later. bye for now.

  • Jeannie,
    My guess is that it was careful observation. There’s a technique that fortune tellers use called cold reading in which they observe very carefully how people move and react and can often pick up on signs that there is some discomfort in some part of the body.

    What would be interesting is when they could detect for example that someone was diabetic, or had impaired kidney function, or a heart murmur, or something where there wasn’t any obvious physical sign. There’s plenty of opportunity for these guys to provide evidence but they never quite manage to 🙂

  • Bob,

    I would have thought that also. But, she/the touch therapist also identified a problem in my neck area that day. I had a hot node growing in my thyroid at the time.

    I’m not into Voodoo here. There must have been an explanation besides, it was bound to happen anyway.

  • [What was that? There had to be some scientific seed of knowledge in there somewhere. She was still unconscious, so it wasn’t her belief.]

    It’s tempting to attribute sudden change to whatever came immediately before it. We tend to think linearly so we attribute as a cause, whatever came closest to the event in time. But it’s mostly not the case.

    For example, the likelihood of a heart attack may be growing in a patient over a period of time and almost regardless of what they were doing at the time, the attack will occur when the arteries are finally occluded. We might think it was the TV program, or the last drink, or some emotional shock, and we may or may not be right.

    So given that touch-therapy has no evidence at all that it works, the most likely explanation is that the bleeding-out would have happened anyway, that the touch-therapist did nothing, and that as a result of the bleeding out of the infected tissue, the healing could then proceed.

    It’s tempting to think that touch-therapy has an effect when it is close to something happening in time, but to establish the cause, we need a lot more than that.

    There have been lots of trials of therapeutic touch and they all show it has no effect. In fact, one famous paper was published by an 11-year-old who carried out a double-blind controlled trial as a school project. The details are on wiki at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emily_Rosa

  • [Choice that makes you feel better without actually making anything better isn’t always a bad thing, even if it’s a completely useless choice.]

    This point about choice is important. Patient choice was heralded as one reason why homeopathy should be made available to patients, but Prof Edzard Ernst explained to the committee that choice requires evidence too.

    If we are given a choice between two options with no evidence for either, then it’s a lottery, not a choice. If we are given a choice between a treatment whose efficacy is proved and one where it isn’t, it’s a false choice since only the perverse would choose the unproven one.

    Only in the case where there is proven efficacy for both is the choice real and meaningful. As Ernst said, offering homeopathy as a choice is offering an alternative which doesn’t even have the prospect of hope.

  • STM

    Oh, Woo is me …

    Bob, is it the notoriously eccentric Prince Chilla who is behind the Prince’s Trust??

    That explains a lot, if so, especially given his penchant for meddling in perfectly reasonable architecture and his not-so-odd love of organic foods.

    Still, what would the Old Dart be without its notoriously eccentric citizens, across the board that is, from princes to paupers.

    This is why in the antipodes we still kind of love it … for all its peculiarities, not in spite of.

    Only in the UK would this kind of backtracking be happening and the government working out 40 odd years down the track that homeopathic remedies are mostly a crock and that its largesse had been totally misplaced.

    However, I suspect also that most people involved in administering it would have known it.

    Choice that makes you feel better without actually making anything better isn’t always a bad thing, even if it’s a completely useless choice.

    Perhaps that’s been the key until now.

  • Bob,

    One quick comment.

    My mothers leg would not heal after an artery was removed for her heart surgery. It was not until after I convinced the docs to allow a touch-therapist in the long term ICU, that she healed, Honest , Bob, ten minutes after the therapist left, my moms leg bleed-out all over the sheet, and she healed up after that, all of the persistent infection was gone.

    What was that? There had to be some scientific seed of knowledge in there somewhere. She was still unconscious, so it wasn’t her belief.

    Please,forgive my grammar. I’ll be back later-on.

  • [Majority of all the chemical drugs gives us only a palliation]

    That is often said but isn’t true. For example, antibiotics kill bacteria and if the bacteria is the source of the problem, then antibiotics effect a cure. Of course, bacteria also mutate and develop resistance, but that’s not the same as the antibiotic not being curative.

    Similarly, where there is a missing enzyme or hormone, its replacement is a cure for the illness. It’s not putting the body back into some original fully-functioning state because that simply isn’t possible, not even with mythical curative forces like Qi and healing energy (which don’t exist).

    Sometimes, drugs are administered to provide relief for organs to get time to regenerate impaired function, such as beta-blockers, and that plays a crucial part in cures too.

    Phrases like “proper balancing of our vitality” doesn’t mean anything until you can say in detail what that vitality consists of, and how specifically it is to be balanced. Perhaps you are referring to altering the balance of hormones, in which case you should be able to say which ones, and how much of each you expect to see.

    Of course, in practice, such phrases are meaningless because those who use them don’t know what it refers to and largely are satisfied with it remaining very vague. Something mystical and vacuous might sound profound but it offers nothing by way of explanation or practical treatment.

    And we should remember that the body’s ability to cure itself only exists when the trauma is not too serious, and when the illness doesn’t have systemic origins. Broken arteries don’t normally mend themselves. Insulin deficiency doesn’t heal itself no matter how many well-meaning practitioners think they are rebalancing the vitality.

    We can chant mystical phrases over someone suffering from a cold with every expectation that our treatment will work. So will standing on one foot and whistling, but that’s not a cure or any form of treatment. To show we are actually treating the patient, we need the evidence of efficacy. Alas, the homeopathy cupboard is totally bare.

  • Yoosaf ali.K

    Majority of all the chemical drugs gives us only a palliation,more than a proper cure,and many of them hinter or diminish the power of natural recovery of our body.the power of being cure is not only based on the chemical drugs thethe proper balancing of our vitality, and it is not a merely material one.

  • Bob,

    Thank you so much for this comment. I do believe in Science, and , not “Grand Design.” It’s hard to believe that anyone does.

    My husband teaches science at the middle-school level, and, we are both on-board with the hope, that, some day stem-cell research will eliminate much of the suffering in this world.

    We also, know that Global Warming is very real. All this snow is the increase of moisture in the atmosphere, and, not Al Gore’s way of making money! How foolish people can be.

    I am not a rocket-scientist, but, I don’t think it takes one to see what’s playing itself out here in the States. Blind Corporate greed and a for-profit health care system are going to kill us all.

    This is not an exaggeration on my part, and, I wish that it was.

    We don’t use any prepared food at all. I grew up knowing what real food looked and tasted like. It’s sad how many people have no desire to learn what it is they are eating, and, why it is being packaged as it is.

    If they had to really-show on the front package, what they were selling and where it was from, then, maybe we would all seek out better nutrition.

    “If the box says, add 1 3/4 cups of water and a half a stick of butter, throw the unopened box into the garbage, where it belongs!” That’s my motto. If I were rich I’d buy bill-board space.

    I’ll be taking Levothyroxine(SYNTHROID) for the remainder of my life. I have toyed with the idea of not taking it, because, now it is damaging my liver. What can I do? Is there a, totally-safe, hormone replacement out there, that I’m not aware of?

    I go to my doctor today, (back injury) and, I’m very wary of all doctors, even my, VA Quacks!:]

    :}It was very nice talking to you, this morning, Bob. I’ll look here later to see what’s going on. Bye

  • Jeannie:

    You are reflecting the views of many people when you express suspicion of pharmaceuticals and I think you are right to be skeptical of drug company claims. They have no commercial reason to promote cures, and every reason to maintain chronic conditions.

    But going from a suspicion of drug companies to rejecting science is unjustified and some people (but not, I think, you) do this. It is certainly true, as others have said, that our bodies are organic, but they are still made of chemicals just the same. At one time, there was a very clear distinction between organic and inorganic. Organic simply meant containing carbon, and inorganic really meant the salts of metals, such as minerals and ores.

    Now the distinction is nothing like as clear cut, because we have the technology to make the same molecules as we find in the body and we can make very complex compounds artificially including hormones, enzymes, proteins, and even DNA. We can manufacture artificial insulin chemically from raw components and artificially make “organic” chemicals which are literally indistinguishable from those found naturally. They really are identical and you cannot tell by analysing them which came from a natural source. They both have exactly the same effect in a biological system.

    You are quite right that the body was not designed to eat coal – in fact it wasn’t designed at all, it evolved by natural selection. But having said that, introducing chemicals into the body is what we do all the time when we eat. In a typical meal, we ingest thousands of chemicals some organic, some inorganic. Inside our stomachs we have a wonderful inorganic chemical called hydrochloric acid.

    Your views are being taken seriously, but there is an important point that is also being made. Your stress on the organic and natural being better is not necessarily correct. But I do agree with you that products full of additives and colourings, should make us suspicious of their overall effects. Personally, I almost never eat processed food but I’m lucky that I live in an area where fresh food is cheap and available 🙂

  • Why is it whenever I make a good point, you guys come over and step all over it?

    The human body was not designed to eat coal, or, oil. The last time I looked we were all trying desperately to get away from cigs, drink, and food additives.

    I am not the “Patron Saint of high moral living”, and, I never claimed to be.

    I just know, now, as the years of fun have finally caught up to me, that a little caution is the, best-way for me to hang around this blue globe, long enough to drive everyone nuts! :)Have I succeeded yet?

    Don’t worry about your spelling Dave I don’t even know how to punctuate what I just wrote.

    :]bye, again, I’m going to go eat an apple.

  • Actually, it should have been arsenic, Dreadful. Sorry.

    Compliments of Agatha Christy’s novel (and Cary Grant’s movie).

  • Good point, Rog, especially in regards to homeopathy. The most lethal substance in small enough quantities is completely harmless.

    Yet it’s possible to kill yourself by drinking too much water.

    It’s a matter of magnitude.

  • Doesn’t apple contain elements of strychnine, in however minuscule dose?

    Yet, an apple a day will keep a doctor away.

  • It matters greatly where a chemical’s base comes from, if, you are introducing it into your body.

    No, not necessarily. Chemical elements are just chemical elements, neither dangerous nor benign. What effect they have depends entirely on how they bond molecularly with other elements (or don’t).

    For example, strychnine and epinephrine both contain nitrogen, but if you introduce one into your body it may well kill you whereas the other is essential to your survival.

    I could, in theory, take the nitrogen from a poisonous mushroom and, as long as I processed it correctly, mix it into your medicine and you’d be absolutely fine.

  • David

    sorry for the spelling errors

  • David

    Ok so we overpokute our bodies with no organic materials??? Firstly Oil and coal are organic (from living matter), secondly in terms off over polluting your body more of that is done with cigarettes, alcohol and high fat foods, all of which are natural products. In terms of taking medicines to “cure” disease you say that they don’t cure they just lead to more problems??? A whole variety of diseases are cured with medicines, off the top of my head, and trying to keep some variety – parasitic worms (a “natural” that is removed by a “chemical”), vaccines for any numver of diseases (often artifical to cure something natural), and bacterial infections such as a sore thorat. If you are meaning that taking medicines such as those they are used to treat HIV won’t cure the disease and lead to other problems then you are completely correct however I should point out that without the medicines life expectancy would be reduced by approximately ten years, and if you don’t beleive me look at the South African experiment with not using antiviral drugs over the last decade (approximately 300,000 extra people died, to put it in context that is about the population of the capital city of Australia!). So in ending grow up this concept of natural is good and artifical is bad is total bullshit.

  • Bob,

    It matters greatly where a chemical’s base comes from, if, you are introducing it into your body.

    Any chemical is made from raw materials and any pharmaceutical is just a chemical. As long as it is pure, it really doesn’t matter what the source chemicals were.

    We are all, made from organic material. As long as we continue, to over-pollute our bodies, we will continue to be sick.

    Not only, will we still in many-cases have the same diseases, but, we will develop others, from taking the medicine that was supposed to cure, or help, us in the first place.

    The body cannot tolerate the introduction of the vehicle used to deliver the drug.

    “I don’t want to always bring this back to myself, but, let me say, That the drug, I now take to keep me from dying ,( because of the removal of a vital organ), is the same drug that is hindering my chances of a long life.” a real catch-twenty-two!

    Sorry for the cliche, I never got to use many of them, before they became old. :]

  • [We are being poisoned in the States by poorly tested drugs. They make these products from the residue of the oil and coal industries]

    You have to wonder whether you think those two are connected. Any chemical is made from raw materials and any pharmaceutical is just a chemical. As long as it is pure, it really doesn’t matter what the source chemicals were. You can make amino acids from urea and carbon dioxide, but you can also use urea to make plastics such as urea-formaldihye resins.

    There is a lot of suspicion of drug companies because they have more interest in managing illness profitably than in curing it. But the process of clinical trials and testing pharmaceuticals, and in developing useful drugs is very worthwhile.

    For example, insulin is manufactured artificially saving the lives of countless diabetics. It’s a chemical. But I do agree with you that for every slight anxiety, the drug companies will produce some profitable and often unnecessary product.

    But taking a placebo? It does nothing unless you believe it will make you better, and then it only makes you feel better. It won’t and can’t treat any underlying cause of illness. So thinking that placebo is a treatment of any kind is a mistake. The other problem is that if you know it is a placebo, such as homeopathy, then because you know it’s not a real treatment, it is unlikely even to make you feel better. So it’s use depends on believing a lie. Much better to save your money.

  • Bob,

    I would take a sugar placebo any day of the week.

    Now, I’m not saying, that all medicine is bad, because it is not. But, there is a big difference in motivation.

    We are being poisoned in the States by poorly tested drugs. They make these products from the residue of the oil and coal industries, and, they wrap these pills and potions in costly emotional commercials.

    My father-in-law used to say, “It’s all in the mind, Bud.” He lived to be ninety-six, and he played table-tennis until he was ninety-five.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Bob –

    I’ve been against homeopathy for some time – it boggles the mind how people buy into this, er, stuff.

    This is another example of something I’ve said for a long time: never underestimate the power of human stupidity.