22 Comments on Boots Giving Away Worthless Therapies

  1. Is that the Nelsons "Which remedy do I need?" guide on the left on the top shelf? I thought Boots withdrew these (at least my local one has). I was considering an ASA complaint over one I found in Holland & Barret

  2. It's amazing how many times you come across this mis-spelling looking through AltMed websites. You'd have thought they'd have…well, maybe not.

  3. @Simon: "Is that the Nelsons "Which remedy do I need?" guide on the left on the top shelf? I thought Boots withdrew these (at least my local one has). I was considering an ASA complaint over one I found in Holland & Barret."

    It looks as if it's fixed to the shelf. If so, it is "in store advertising", so doesn't come within the ASA's remit. See the ASA's website page What types of ads and promotions does the ASA look into:

    "In-store advertising
    Misleading claims on posters, shelves or till points should be reported to your local trading standards department (www.tradingstandards.gov.uk). The ASA will look into complaints about any leaflets or brochures that can be taken away from a store."

    If it is available as a leaflet to take away, the ASA will cover it, otherwise it's down to Trading Standards.

  4. See also Cardiff University Counselling Service's document on Depression (.doc file):

    "Clinical Depression and its treatment; complimentary medicine
    Only qualified practitioners in their fields are able to provide definitive details about their specialities. What follows here is a general overview.

    "Complimentary medicine comes with a lot of anecdotal evidence to support its effectiveness. Unlike with classical medicine, complimentary medicines (or practices) do not have to be officially proved to be effective or safe. However, this does not necessarily mean that they are not.

    "For many complimentary approaches to disease treatment, it is possible to follow a course of treatment without seeing a specialist. If you decide to follow a complimentary medicine approach, it is always worth talking to an qualified practitioner in the field.
    Herbal remedies – Bach Flower remedies, St John's wort
    Boots the chemists have a range of products for aromatherapy, homeopathy and herbal medicine under "Health". On the Health page you can look under "complimentary", and also under "relaxation and spirituality"."

  5. Rob A
    Maybe 'YMEA' is an unfortunate packaging printing error? This should maybe read 'YMCA'. If this is correct then the box would surely contain a Village People CD and not a CAM product. Could this song have healing properties?

  6. I'm an ex-Boots employee, and this is a permanent offer, and sadly one of the best selling categories of product in most stores – in my store we had twice as much space for complementary therapies as we did for actual medicine. I did my best to educate the healthcare staff on why this stuff was useless and tried to convince them not to recommend any of it to customers, but the attitude was always 'well if it didn't work why would it be sold in a pharmacy?'

    The mandatory healthcare training pack also included a hefty module on complementary therapies when I studied it – I hope I still have it somewhere, I think it's been updated now but my edition made several noble efforts to make it sound like there was a scientific basis for any of this stuff.

    "It looks as if it's fixed to the shelf." It is, they're permanent displays made by Boots to explain their own brand products.

  7. Most of those in the picture are just vitamin pills. The top right group are calcium tablets, people with osteoporosis should be taking a lot of those, and the over the counter pills are cheaper and probably better than the calcium pills you can get from the pharmacist (there's a more complete balance of minerals).

    • If the only supplement the person’s after is calcium, you don’t need a more ‘complete balance of minerals.’ It is possible to take toxic levels of minerals and most people don’t need a supplement for most of them. Even if a few people would benefit from a calcium one (which you can bet more people are taking them than will get any positive effect, and they may even get negative ones) they can also get extra calcium easily by eating extra low fat dairy products.

  8. Complimentary therapy could be whole new field of complementary therapy.
    You could treat any ailment by telling the sufferer they have a nice hairdo and are a snappy dresser (and of course charge them £100 per hour for the privilege). It would be just as effective as homeopathy.

  9. And are these calcium tablets a homeopathy too? Oh, what an interesting thing! Minerals are absent in them, but the balance is present 😉 What is it, eh? Sort of "Cat's smile"? 😉 Cat is absent, but his smile is present…
    What a wonderful fairy-tale ! 🙂 However, I never thought that the doctors, which prescribe the remedies, so love the different fairy-tales… 😯

  10. 'What is it, eh? Sort of "Cat's smile"?'
    Yes, that's it, Cat's smile – you know, complImentary therapy! As a matter of fact, I can testify that it works, 'cause only reading about it has already made my day. And it figures, after all, everyone likes a compliment, that's not very complecated. I could have thought of it meself, though sadly I haven't. *sigh*

  11. There Worthless Therapies and the sign says they are Complimentary – like tea and coffe at a hotel. So you must just be able to walk out the store with them. Maybe its the 3 for 2 bit thats misspelled. It was actually meant to read 'Free for you'. That would make your old £100 challenge even cheaper 😛

  12. Perhaps Boots are on to a thing here.

    They suggest a mix and match in the hope that a random, and perhaps even beneficial, synergistic effect is realised from such a cocktail of drugs. It's sure to ameliorate some physiological rumination, though almost certainly not the one for which any of the component cocktails were arbitrarily thrown together.

    • I doubt hoping to improve people’s physical wellbeing is their main goal from the ‘mix n match’ 🙂 Unfortunately (or fortunately, as otherwise even more people would take them) the products aren’t actually free.:)

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