Angry Doctor

Friday, June 20, 2008

A £10,000 challenge

Via Orac, news about a professor of homeopathy who has offered a £10,000 prize to anyone who can "demonstrate that homeopathy is effective by showing that the Cochrane Collaboration has published a review that is strongly and conclusively positive about high dilution homeopathic remedies for any human condition".

As far as angry doc knows, no one has taken up the challenge, but Le Canard Noir at Quackometer tells us that "excuses for ignoring the challenge are already being discussed on homeopathic sites and message boards". angry doc believes that the Professor Ernst is familiar with most of them.

While not as well-known as acupuncture and TCM, two forms of alternative medicine which we discuss regularly on this blog, homeopathy nonetheless has its presence in Singapore, and from angry doc's personal observation it is growing. While herbal medicine and acupuncture have shown efficacy for certain conditions and have plausible or known mechanisms of action, the same cannot be said of homeopathy.

angry doc thinks all healthcare workers should be aware of this relatively new form of alternative medicine, so we can educate our patients about it. Homeopathy simply does not hold water*.

* - Sorry, I just couldn't resist.

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  • Its a growing problem here and the laws regarding such faux remedies are vague and hardly enforced with respect to homeopathy.

    Sometimes I wish we could do more about Quackery than just public education via Clearthought.

    By Anonymous Edgar, At June 20, 2008 8:31 pm  

  • Unfortunately homeopathy falls under the same category as "traditional medicines" and is "not subjected to pre-marketing approval and licensing for... import, manufacture and sale in Singapore".

    In other words, one takes it at one's own peril, like with Slim 10. Fortunately, it's just water.

    However, homeopaths who advertise that they can treat "blindness, cancer, cataract, drug addiction, deafness, diabetes, epilepsy or fits, hypertension, insanity, kidney diseases, leprosy, menstrual disorders, paralysis, tuberculosis, sexual function, infertility, impotency, frigidity, conception and pregnancy" may run afoul of the law.

    You can always call the HSA if you encounter any such advertisements.

    As I understand it, the HSA is taking a step-wise approach to quack-busting in Singapore, starting with Medical Devices, but I suppose we can always nudge them along.

    By Blogger angry doc, At June 20, 2008 8:52 pm  

  • Since homeopathy here is in its early stages, it's not really well organised so helping bust their quackery is less of a chore. When they become as organised as in the UK then we will have quite a bit of a problem.

    By Anonymous Edgar, At June 23, 2008 11:18 am  

  • Unfortunately, it is worse that you think...

    By Blogger angry doc, At June 23, 2008 6:03 pm  

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