comment by Lindsay
Posted: 15 August 2014 10:11 PM   [ Ignore ]
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In his comment in the September-November Skeptical Inquirer he chastises the FDA for “declining to test homeopathic drugs for efficacy"I worked for the pharmaceutical industry and FDA. The FDA does not do testing of drugs. The FDA evaluates evidence submitted by pharmaceutical companies for safety and efficacy, has no funds or resources to do independent testing. The NAACM, national Center for complementary and alternative medicine, has the responsibility and funds to give grants for the testing of complementary and alternative medicines. It has given out billions of dollars to sponsor hundreds of such clinical studies. The studies have been universally negative and/or not even reported. The NCAAM gives grants to major universities to sponsor chairs in CAAM at major universities. It also speaks in glowing terms of CAAM at its web sites and in publications. This waste of taxpayer’s money should be stopped as they continue to sponsor repeat studies of CAAMS that have already been proven to be negative. Due to the drug supplement act, the FDA has little ability to regulate so called food supplements almost all CAAMs have a disclaimer stating their statements are not approved by the FDA and they are not intended to diagnose, prevent or cure any disease. The organization that should be investigated, exposed and shut down is the NCAAM and the FDA should be strengthened both by increased funding and given responsibility. The food supplement act should be overturned.

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Posted: 15 August 2014 10:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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My impression from reading past comments from Dr. Lindsay is that he fully understands that homeopathy has already been disproven and that no more research on the subject is appropriate. I think what he is referring to is the fact the homeopathic remedies were grandfathered in under the Food and Drug Act that created the FDA and so the FDA allows them to be sold without proof of efficacy, which is required for other medications (except, as you mention, supplements regulated under DSHEA, which are classed misleadingly as “food” even when used clearly as medicines). Clearly, it is inappropriate for the FDA to give even tacit approval to quackery like homeopathy, but the law is written such that the agency has no discretion. The FDA does have a statement on their web site that “FDA is not aware of scientific evidence to support homeopathy as effective.” Nevertheless, it would require a legislative change to allow the FDA to prohibit unproven medical claims for homeopathic remedies and in the current political climate, that ain’t gonna happen.

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Posted: 16 August 2014 06:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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mckenzievmd - 15 August 2014 10:45 PM

Nevertheless, it would require a legislative change to allow the FDA to prohibit unproven medical claims for homeopathic remedies and in the current political climate, that ain’t gonna happen.

When 45% of the country doesn’t even believe in evolution its going to be hard to convince them that there isn’t some sort of “magic” in homeopathy that scientists just don’t understand. As long as that is the case their elected representatives who pass our laws are not going to feel differently.

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Posted: 17 August 2014 10:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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macgyver - 16 August 2014 06:24 AM
mckenzievmd - 15 August 2014 10:45 PM

Nevertheless, it would require a legislative change to allow the FDA to prohibit unproven medical claims for homeopathic remedies and in the current political climate, that ain’t gonna happen.

When 45% of the country doesn’t even believe in evolution its going to be hard to convince them that there isn’t some sort of “magic” in homeopathy that scientists just don’t understand. As long as that is the case their elected representatives who pass our laws are not going to feel differently.

Excellent point, MacGyver.

Lois

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Posted: 21 August 2014 10:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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macgyver - 16 August 2014 06:24 AM
mckenzievmd - 15 August 2014 10:45 PM

Nevertheless, it would require a legislative change to allow the FDA to prohibit unproven medical claims for homeopathic remedies and in the current political climate, that ain’t gonna happen.

When 45% of the country doesn’t even believe in evolution its going to be hard to convince them that there isn’t some sort of “magic” in homeopathy that scientists just don’t understand. As long as that is the case their elected representatives who pass our laws are not going to feel differently.

I think it’s more than that. We’re all inundated with commercials for FDA approved drugs for every conceivable malady AND with other commercials from lawyers telling us about how the maker of FDA approved drug XYZ is being sued. It’s a climate of mistrust coupled with outrageous healthcare costs and a dysfunctional healthcare system. No wonder people look to comparatively cheap solutions you don’t have to go through a doctor to get.

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Posted: 21 August 2014 12:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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CuthbertJ - 21 August 2014 10:23 AM
macgyver - 16 August 2014 06:24 AM
mckenzievmd - 15 August 2014 10:45 PM

Nevertheless, it would require a legislative change to allow the FDA to prohibit unproven medical claims for homeopathic remedies and in the current political climate, that ain’t gonna happen.

When 45% of the country doesn’t even believe in evolution its going to be hard to convince them that there isn’t some sort of “magic” in homeopathy that scientists just don’t understand. As long as that is the case their elected representatives who pass our laws are not going to feel differently.

I think it’s more than that. We’re all inundated with commercials for FDA approved drugs for every conceivable malady AND with other commercials from lawyers telling us about how the maker of FDA approved drug XYZ is being sued. It’s a climate of mistrust coupled with outrageous healthcare costs and a dysfunctional healthcare system. No wonder people look to comparatively cheap solutions you don’t have to go through a doctor to get.

Yes, I think that is a large part of what’s behind the alternative medicine movement, plus distrust in the medical industry and big pharma, some of which is rational.

Lois

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