Alternative treament purveyors are all over the radio these days. From products to cure impotence and fatigue to others that grow hair, they are everywhere. Someone must be buying an awful lot of this stuff or they wouldn’t advertise so much. Today I heard something that pushed the boundries though.
Many of you have probably heard adds on the radio recruiting participants for legitimate studies of new investigational drugs. Today I heard an add that was clearly meant to mimick one of those recruitment adds, but it was nothing of the sort. The add was touting a new product and claimed that they were looking for individuals who would be willing to try the product free of charge as part of a study to determine how effective it was. Unfortunately while they mentioned the product name at least a half dozen times, I was driving and couldn’t write it down and forgot the name. There were a number of clues however that this was a scam. Real studies never name the investigational drug, only the disease they are trying to treat. This add repeated the “drug’s” name over and over again so you wouldn’t forget it ( although obviously that didn’t work on me ). Real researchers trying to recruit participants also make it clear that there will be medical supervision which will be paid for by the study’s sponsors. This advertisement made no mention of that. There was also no mention of the fact that you might get a placebo instead of the actual drug. This is something all legitimate study adds must tell you when they recruit participants.
This add was obviously meant to convince people they were about to participate in an important study of a promising new drug when in fact it was nothing more than an old fashion add to try a free sample and then rope in those who succumb to the placebo effect.
Just when I think the alternative medicine industry has gotten as sleazy as it can, they one up themselves.