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-   -   Why is homeopathy and alternative medicines not illegal? (http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=670488)

misnderstudge Feb9-13 12:06 AM

Why is homeopathy and alternative "medicines" not illegal?
 
Well why not. They lie, cheat and commit fraud with statistics. Tell people not to see there doctor etc. All of which as a result can kill and make peoples lives worse, i would say most but i can't think one would say oh i can't help you go see your doctor etc. I mean say today i am a level 2 medic and one tiny part of my cert's are out of date i am a level 1 if i tell a casualty i am a level 2 i can get put on probation or even sacked if they think i did it on purpose. That is only an example although i agree with regular training and recertification. there client generally don't know medicine or even what evidence based medicine is really. Plus the practitioners don't have a clue there defence would be they did not believe in it enough or they thought they were helping etc which is no pardon. (plus it p**** me of that they mostly take home more in a week than i do a month lol)

jedishrfu Feb9-13 12:31 AM

Re: Why is homeopathy and alternative "medicines" not illegal?
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeopathy

Simple belief in a placebo can cure some people of their fears and thus alleviate the perceived illness.

misnderstudge Feb9-13 12:42 AM

Re: Why is homeopathy and alternative "medicines" not illegal?
 
Yeah but i can two so can a ten min talk with a doctor plus counseling. As that stuff is normally psychologically based. also most hypochondriacs need help to just not medical based. In my opinion it is the attention they get rather than the treatment that does it, the treatment just reinforces it as such, if that makes sense.

zodium Feb9-13 04:42 AM

Re: Why is homeopathy and alternative "medicines" not illegal?
 
It's not illegal because the rate at which new homeopathic treatments are introduced outpaces the speed at which they can be empirically researched by orders of magnitude. As soon as one is established to be harmful, two more take its place. They can't be regulated at the point of production because they usually make no objective claims to medical benefit, and they don't have to, since everyone in their target group already intrinsically believe products packaged in a certain way have medical benefits.

ZapperZ Feb9-13 10:06 AM

Re: Why is homeopathy and alternative "medicines" not illegal?
 
No. The main reason why they are not illegal, especially here in the US, is because the lobbyists for this industry have managed to allow the lawmakers to designate that "alternative, natural medicine" to be out of the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration, and thus, not subjected to the same set of rigorous criteria to verify their claims.

Zz.

atyy Feb9-13 11:23 AM

Re: Why is homeopathy and alternative "medicines" not illegal?
 
Quote:

Quote by misnderstudge (Post 4262881)
They lie, cheat and commit fraud with statistics. Tell people not to see there doctor etc.

Could you please point to some evidence?

russ_watters Feb9-13 12:47 PM

Re: Why is homeopathy and alternative "medicines" not illegal?
 
Quote:

Quote by atyy (Post 4263318)
Could you please point to some evidence?

There's really no need for that. Homeopathy is well established as crackpottery.

This is a regulatory no-mans-land. The FDA doesn't regulate homeopathic "medicine" because it isn't medicine. I agree that it should, though.

misnderstudge Feb9-13 01:05 PM

Re: Why is homeopathy and alternative "medicines" not illegal?
 
http://www.ncahf.org/pp/homeop.html is the best i can find but in my working experience i have seen plenty and it has been document very well that a few will also tell people to stop there proven treatment. This evidence is all over the net but i can't fined it as i lost my laptop, and i am using my phone for the net for the first time since i got it. As soon as i sort that out i will get plenty. This t9 is a bugger.

russ_watters Feb9-13 03:37 PM

Re: Why is homeopathy and alternative "medicines" not illegal?
 
Quote:

Quote by atyy (Post 4263510)
But is crackpottery the same as fraud?

Not specifically, no - but they often go together (many crackpots are frauds, but not all crackpots are frauds nor are all frauds crackpots). Not sure I see your point.

AnTiFreeze3 Feb9-13 04:01 PM

Re: Why is homeopathy and alternative "medicines" not illegal?
 
Quote:

Quote by russ_watters (Post 4263628)
Not specifically, no - but they often go together (many crackpots are frauds, but not all crackpots are frauds nor are all frauds crackpots). Not sure I see your point.

I believe he is looking for evidence of fraudulent claims or lies.

russ_watters Feb9-13 04:13 PM

Re: Why is homeopathy and alternative "medicines" not illegal?
 
Quote:

Quote by AnTiFreeze3 (Post 4263663)
I believe he is looking for evidence of fraudulent claims or lies.

IMO, that's setting the bar too high and requires too much effort. That requires dissecting specific claims to find explicit intent to deceive, then banning individual products, on a case-by-case basis. I just don't see why that should be necessary. It puts the burden of proof on the wrong foot. The fact that the claims are not vetted by the FDA should be enough reason to ban them, regardless of if they are technically fraudulent or not.

Evo Feb9-13 05:29 PM

Re: Why is homeopathy and alternative "medicines" not illegal?
 
This is a good resource for explaining why homeopathy is quackery. Anyone that claims it is real will need to provide valid, accepted mainstream peer reviewed scientific research. Anyone asking for research on imaginary products should know better.

http://www.quackwatch.org/01Quackery...ics/homeo.html

This is not an accepted journal, and I doubt there would even be any on homeopathy since it is so well known to be nonsense. But for the members that don't undertand why homeopathy doesn't work, perhaps it will help them.

Quote:

Proposed mechanisms for homeopathy are physically impossible

David Robert Grimes
Article first published online: 3 AUG 2012

DOI: 10.1111/j.2042-7166.2012.01162.x

2012 The Author. FACT 2012 Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Abstract

Background - Homeopathy is a system of complementary and alternative medicine based on a belief that a malady can be treated by the administration of an extreme dilution of an agent thought to cause the physical signs of that malady. Homeopathy enjoys popular support from the general public and advocates of alternative medicine, but most large-scale clinical trials show no homeopathy to be no more effective than placebo treatment.

Objectives - To explore the chemical and physical plausibility of homeopathic treatments.

Methods - Homeopathic claims were put into a physical context and analysed using the laws of basic physics and chemistry.

Results - Through the laws of physics, homeopathic medicines appear to have zero chance of containing any biologically active component. Evidence from physical chemistry also rules out the plausibility of mechanisms such as water memory.

Conclusions - The proposed mechanisms of homeopathy are shown to be implausible when analysed from a physical and chemical perspective, and thus it is of no surprise that the biological effects of homeopathy cannot be measured in large-scale clinical trials.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/1...162.x/abstract

atyy Feb9-13 06:05 PM

Re: Why is homeopathy and alternative "medicines" not illegal?
 
Quote:

Quote by russ_watters (Post 4263628)
Not specifically, no - but they often go together (many crackpots are frauds, but not all crackpots are frauds nor are all frauds crackpots). Not sure I see your point.

Quote:

Quote by AnTiFreeze3 (Post 4263663)
I believe he is looking for evidence of fraudulent claims or lies.

Quote:

Quote by russ_watters (Post 4263677)
IMO, that's setting the bar too high and requires too much effort. That requires dissecting specific claims to find explicit intent to deceive, then banning individual products, on a case-by-case basis. I just don't see why that should be necessary. It puts the burden of proof on the wrong foot. The fact that the claims are not vetted by the FDA should be enough reason to ban them, regardless of if they are technically fraudulent or not.

Yes, AntiFreeze3 interpreted me correctly. I asked about the fraud aspect because it was mentioned in the OP. I agree with russ watters that it is not necessary for the discussion about regulation to prove fraud, and the issue can be discussed on the basis of dangers to public health.

flatmaster Feb9-13 06:48 PM

Re: Why is homeopathy and alternative "medicines" not illegal?
 
The OP asked about the legality of Homeopathy. If that's the question, we should consult the law.

http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/script....cfm?fr=101.93

"Subpart F--Specific Requirements for Descriptive Claims That Are Neither Nutrient Content Claims nor Health Claims"

I have never seen any homeopathic products. To they contain the FDA disclaimer?

"These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease."

misnderstudge Feb9-13 08:53 PM

Re: Why is homeopathy and alternative "medicines" not illegal?
 
Thanks evo etc. I think most of you understand the question.

halo31 Feb10-13 12:37 AM

Re: Why is homeopathy and alternative "medicines" not illegal?
 
I myself was cheated by the misleading claims homeopaths tell you. I had a skin condition so I fell for their claim (I was desperate) that they could cure it in a no time( three months). What I hoped for three months turned into many months. I did not notice any improvement in fact my condition was worse than what I originally had before starting this stupid treatment. I do feel that treatments outside of a doctor's setting needs to be much more closely looked at and research needs to take place assessing the effectiveness of these treatments( not sure what to call them). And homeopathy is one form of treatment that is a bunch of quackery. The practice itself makes no sense.

misnderstudge Feb10-13 05:37 AM

Re: Why is homeopathy and alternative "medicines" not illegal?
 
But that is symptoms not a cure or treatment for say cancer etc. For example o2 on its own can have a tiny pain reliving affect (very small but more than the normal placebo) so if i am worried about a patients level of consciousness or a history etc with the meds i use including gas and air i tell them the pain will go down a bit and well it does. It is the uniform and trust that is the biggest affect the o2 just is the proxy as such. Ie i say it works explain it helps enzyme releases i think and the they see the o2 and i administer it. But i am sure it is the reassurance and attention they get as the main pain relief. So i do use it to an advantage so do most. The issue is the lying cheating etc. Is it not possible to do random checks on its practitioners to make sure they are not lying cheating etc. Then they would be somewhat more honest, ie it only helps the pain and your doc will cure you then they take less meds and i think that is a good thing. As long as no magical crap is talked about

robdean Feb10-13 06:34 AM

Re: Why is homeopathy and alternative "medicines" not illegal?
 
There is a great book by Ben Goldacre called 'Bad Science' which addresses a lot of these issues.

Also lots of great stuff on the QuackWatch website.

I think the main reason for lack of regulation is ignorance. Many legislators have no more insight into scientific method than regular folks, for example not appreciating that anecdote (such as testimonials) has no evidential value since by its very nature such data is selective.

Many people have a longing to 'do something' - so if conventional science either says it can do nothing or tells them they have no definable illness, they look elsewhere.

The whole point of scientific method is it presents a rigourous remedy to just believing what you want to believe or presenting 'plausible' as 'factual'. The 'alternative' in 'Alternative Medicine' is essentially an alternative to that rigour...


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