MHRA accused of “clothing naked quackery”

23rd September, 2011 16

Last Wednesday, I gave a talk at the newly formed Coventry Skeptics in the Pub on the ‘Persistence of Delusion’ – why some alternative medicines appear to thrive. One of the techniques that ensures a healthy quackery is to obtain official endorsement from statutory and regulatory organisations. Chiropractic and Osteopathy have benefited greatly in the UK by becoming a protected ‘health profession’. Homeopathy is also helped by some regulations that [read more…]

When the Regulator Believes in Fairies, Who Protects the Public?

22nd January, 2011 37

It would appear to be a common mistake in the regulation of alternative medicine to assume that those trained in the subject, and who practice it, can be considered experts in the subject. And that those experts can help formulate good regulatory practices. The nature of expertise has plagued philosophers since the time of Plato, whose Socratic dialogues explored how you could tell a doctor from a quack. Plato struggled [read more…]

10:23, Homeopathy and the Shame of the Pharmacy Profession

26th January, 2010 31

This Saturday, hundreds of people, in many cities,  will be demonstrating outside Boots the Chemists about their selling of homeopathic remedies. Each volunteer will be taking a homeopathic ‘overdose’ of a Boots homeopathy product to demonstrate that there is nothing in the tablets but sugar. Out of all the volunteer ‘overdosers’ and their supporters in the 10:23 campaign, there may well be many reasons for taking part. The homeopaths think [read more…]

The MHRA and the Labeling of Homeopathic Products

15th January, 2010 19

Further documents have been published after the House of Commons held its enquiry into the evidence base for government policy on homeopathy. There are some real treats in there, but I am most concerned about new evidence from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (the MHRA) on how they test the public’s understanding of the labeling of homeopathic products. The new document was submitted to the enquiry after Professor [read more…]

The MHRA and their Double Failure over Homeopathy

2nd September, 2009 28

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have been heavily criticised in recent years for abandoning their core mission by allowing homeopathic sugar pills to contain statements about what symptoms and illnesses they can be used for without having to provide evidence that this is true. The MHRA mission and values: Mission The MHRA’s mission is to enhance and safeguard the health of the public by ensuring that medicines [read more…]

There Goes My Knighthood

5th May, 2009 30

Prince Charles’ company, Duchy Originals, has today been told by the Advertising Standards Authority to stop making misleading and untruthful claims in its advertising and to not make claims for its detox products that it cannot substantiate.   Earlier in the year, Duchy Originals launched three new herbal tinctures. The launch was met with derision, and claims that the Prince’s company was misleading people into thinking that the products actually [read more…]

Kaloba Cold Cure: How the MHRA condones quackery

30th September, 2008 32

The newspapers today were delighting in reporting that a new cold treatment was being made available to us in Britian. Kaloba is an extract of the geranium Pelargonium sidoides, and has been “used by Zulus for hundreds of years”. The Telegraph tells us that “extracts are particularly good at reducing the amount of phlegm.” Remarkably, the paper tells us that, Research by the Cochrane Review showed it to be “effective [read more…]