3 of 5
3
The 10:23 Campaign - Get involved and combat homeopathy!
Posted: 10 January 2010 04:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15435
Joined  2006-02-14
scepticeye - 10 January 2010 04:48 PM
dougsmith - 10 January 2010 03:50 PM

Needless to say, relying on homeopathic products to protect one from malaria or other tropical diseases could be very dangerous and even fatal.

This assumes that the purchasers buy these products in the belief that they will definitely be effective. Is there evidence that this is indeed the case ?

Typically experiments in cognitive psychology show that advertising works. It gets people to believe that what it says is true, particularly so for people who actually end up buying the products.

It’s an example of special pleading to claim that people who buy homeopathic products somehow do so while lacking any concomitant belief in the marketing written on the sides of the bottles. Why else would they spend their hard-earned cash on them? While believing them to be ineffective? While believing them to cure some illness not indicated on the bottle? While these are theoretically possible cases, they are not compelling, certainly not without any data to back them up.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 10 January 2010 05:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15435
Joined  2006-02-14
scepticeye - 10 January 2010 04:54 PM

I live in Europe and no alternative medicine or homeopathic products make any such claims. They only say that they assist in the treatment of the ailment in question. All advertisements make clear they do not make claims of cures.

“Assisting in cure” is just as false a claim. They do not assist in curing anything. (Or to be pedantic, they do not assist in curing anything except psychosomatic ailments that respond to placebo. Those are not typically the indications printed on the sides of the containers).

scepticeye - 10 January 2010 04:54 PM

They are sold as treating headaches, which may well be caused by other more serious conditions. If they are used without consulting a specialist the condition could worsen and kill the user. I see no significant difference between these situations.

All the difference in the world:  it’s the difference between the truth and a lie. Paracetamol claims to cure headaches, which it does. It does not claim to cure stroke, which it does not. (Although of course a stroke may be accompanied by headache).

scepticeye - 10 January 2010 04:54 PM

Boots, which is the topic of this thread, makes it very clear that they sell the products as effective treatments.

Quite, which they are not. Hence, a lie and a cheat.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 10 January 2010 05:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  441
Joined  2009-12-17
dougsmith - 10 January 2010 04:55 PM

Typically experiments in cognitive psychology show that advertising works. It gets people to believe that what it says is true, particularly so for people who actually end up buying the products.

It’s an example of special pleading to claim that people who buy homeopathic products somehow do so while lacking any concomitant belief in the marketing written on the sides of the bottles. Why else would they spend their hard-earned cash on them? While believing them to be ineffective? While believing them to cure some illness not indicated on the bottle? While these are theoretically possible cases, they are not compelling, certainly not without any data to back them up.

This is all very well Doug but as a sceptic and someone who believes in freedom of the individual, I find it unconvincing as a justification to take the huge stop and stop companies supplying products to people who hold these beliefs. This theory about advertising and how it makes people do stuff against their own free will is, in my opinion, mumbo jumbo and is not supported by good science.

By all means lets educate people. By all means lets spread the word of rationality and good science and lets encourage people to be more discerning about what they use as ‘medicine’. But let us not start a very dangerous precedent by trying to prevent people following their beliefs and companies supplying harmless product to satisfy those beliefs.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 10 January 2010 05:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  441
Joined  2009-12-17
dougsmith - 10 January 2010 05:00 PM

Boots, which is the topic of this thread, makes it very clear that they sell the products as effective treatments.

Quite, which they are not. Hence, a lie and a cheat.

smile Doug… that was obviously a typo on my part and you should have known it, even the original poster makes it clear that they admit it’s garbage ... Boots make it crystal clear that they do NOT selll the products as effective treatment.

This is my last post on this issue. I have made my point about interference in people’s freedom. We can agree to disagree.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 10 January 2010 05:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15435
Joined  2006-02-14
scepticeye - 10 January 2010 05:02 PM

This theory about advertising and how it makes people do stuff against their own free will is, in my opinion, mumbo jumbo and is not supported by good science.

Agreed, but that’s not what I said. Nobody is being made to do anything against their will. Instead people are being mislead about the appropriate treatment for illnesses, which is a very serious matter indeed. This results in people willingly deciding to buy things that they wouldn’t buy if they knew the facts about them.

The claim, however, that advertising doesn’t change minds and influence behavior is absurd. (I assume you are not making this claim, however I believe it is implicit in certain libertarian lines of argument). In fact, ad agencies employ cognitive psychologists and do extensive testing to know precisely how to target their campaigns most effectively. Now, I have nothing against advertising per se. Clearly, companies have every right to promote their products and disseminate the reasons why their product is different from and better than the competition’s. But they cannot be allowed to lie.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 10 January 2010 05:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15435
Joined  2006-02-14
scepticeye - 10 January 2010 05:05 PM

I have made my point about interference in people’s freedom. We can agree to disagree.

Sure, although none of what I have posted has the slightest thing to do with interfering in people’s freedom, except the freedom to sell products under false pretenses and steal from the public.

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 10 January 2010 06:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  7684
Joined  2008-04-11

When my son was 17, he hit his head and had a FOUR HOUR seizure, that the hospital could not stop until they gave him so much ativan that they had to put him on a ventilator to assist his breathing. He was prescribed dilantin to take for a year, after this happened. This is standard treatment for such a prolonged seizure, which can easily be life-threatening. A good friend, who is a ‘true believer’ in homeopathy, tried to convince me to treat my son homeopathically, rather than have him ingest the ‘toxic’ medication prescribed by the doctor. That is where homeopathy does it’s damage. I knew better, but what if I didn’t? What if I were not knowledgeable about seizures, the dangers and treatments? What if I used her treatment, and my son had another seizure that killed him? John Tavolta’s son died last year from a poorly treated seizure disorder.

 Signature 

Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

Profile
 
 
Posted: 10 January 2010 06:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
Moderator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4108
Joined  2006-11-28

scepticeye,

You’re awfully free with words like “ban” and “prevent from selling,” but that’s not what I’m talking about, and I thought I was clear about that. If I tell a business I don’t like something they’re doing and I intend to spend my money elsewhere if they continue, I’m not banning anything, I’m exercising my freedom as a consumer. None of this has anything to do with the bogeyman of “The State” so that’s a strawman.

As I said, this is really more about politics than homeopathy, and I no longer have any interest in arguing about “big brother” and the role of government in controlling economic activity, since such arguments are full of passion and rarely productive. Here and now, I’m only talking about grass-roots consumer campaigns to influence the behavior of companies, which is as perfect an example of a free-market approach as you can get. So I still don’t understand your objection, other than a general resistance to the idea of anyone telling anyone else what they should or shouldn’t do. If a homeopath can lobby a company to sell homeopathic “remedies,” why can’t someone committed to science-based medicine lobby them not to? And shouldn’t consumers be free to lobby companies with their dollars?

As for the issue of “fraud,” I do think it is a form of passive dishonesty to sell something labeled for a particular medical problem that has repeatedly been shown not to be an effective treatment for that, and all the disclaimers in the world don’t make it any less dishonest or purely based on making money off of people’s false beliefs. Pharmacists that sell homeopathic remedies have been documented to recommend against proven preventatives for malaria and to recommend useless homeopathic alternatives to people travelling to areas where malaria exists. Likewise, homeopathic products exists which are identified as helpful for AIDS and other serious diseases, and since these do nothing, selling them without a clear statement to this effect puts people in real danger. It’s easy to say you think these things are harmless, but I’ve seen my own patients suffer from untreated pain or other disease symptoms because their owners falsely believed these sorts of quackery were “working,” so I don’t accept your rather casual dismissal of that as unimportant.

Sorry if my attempt to paint the spectrum of attitudes towards dealing with this kind of situation didn’t work. I wasn’t trying to accuse you or Boots of extremism, merely describing what I see as a range of perspectives on the issue. However, desribing a letter-writing and publicity campaign by private citizens in the terms you have certainly partakes of as much hyperbole as anyone else in this discussion: “Where do we stop interfering with people’s ability to live their lives ? I find this scenario a chilling and frightening one.” I suspect your feelings about the issues of “freedom” for companies and consumers to do as they please are just as strong as mine about people selling bogus medicines that don’t work, so let’s try not to get lost in rhetoric. Ultimately, I think where we disagree is that I don’t find the issue of such commercial freedom nearly as compelling as you do, and I find the practice of selling remedies one knows don’t do anything to be unconscionable, so we probably aren’t going to get much closer in our opinions on this one.

 Signature 

The SkeptVet Blog
You cannot reason a person out of a position he did not reason himself into in the first place. 
Johnathan Swift

Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 January 2010 06:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  441
Joined  2009-12-17

Ok .. I know I said I wouldn’t post any more but just to answer your points directed at me specifically…

mckenzievmd - 10 January 2010 06:35 PM

scepticeye,

You’re awfully free with words like “ban” and “prevent from selling,” but that’s not what I’m talking about, and I thought I was clear about that. If I tell a business I don’t like something they’re doing and I intend to spend my money elsewhere if they continue, I’m not banning anything, I’m exercising my freedom as a consumer. None of this has anything to do with the bogeyman of “The State” so that’s a strawman.

I am sorry if my terminology upset you but I was only responding to the issue of the topic as they were stated. I really did make it absolutely clear in my post that I have no problem with what you say above.  A consumer has the absolute right to withdraw his patronage and encourage others if he wants to. When I mentioned the State in other posts I said the “Nanny State” which I believe is an appropriate description of what is being proposed by many on this thread.

I quoted from the letter at the heart of the Campaign and it is clearly not about withdrawing patronage. It is about stopping Boots from selling their products, a significantly different thing.

As I said, this is really more about politics than homeopathy, and I no longer have any interest in arguing about “big brother” and the role of government in controlling economic activity, since such arguments are full of passion and rarely productive. Here and now, I’m only talking about grass-roots consumer campaigns to influence the behavior of companies, which is as perfect an example of a free-market approach as you can get. So I still don’t understand your objection, other than a general resistance to the idea of anyone telling anyone else what they should or shouldn’t do. If a homeopath can lobby a company to sell homeopathic “remedies,” why can’t someone committed to science-based medicine lobby them not to? And shouldn’t consumers be free to lobby companies with their dollars?

But this is not what is being done here. It is a campaign to stop Boots from selling products that many customers clearly want to buy and if successful these customers will not be able to purchase them. I believe this is unacceptable.

As for the issue of “fraud,” I do think it is a form of passive dishonesty to sell something labeled for a particular medical problem that has repeatedly been shown not to be an effective treatment for that, and all the disclaimers in the world don’t make it any less dishonest or purely based on making money off of people’s false beliefs. Pharmacists that sell homeopathic remedies have been documented to recommend against proven preventatives for malaria and to recommend useless homeopathic alternatives to people travelling to areas where malaria exists. Likewise, homeopathic products exists which are identified as helpful for AIDS and other serious diseases, and since these do nothing, selling them without a clear statement to this effect puts people in real danger. It’s easy to say you think these things are harmless, but I’ve seen my own patients suffer from untreated pain or other disease symptoms because their owners falsely believed these sorts of quackery were “working,” so I don’t accept your rather casual dismissal of that as unimportant.

I have done nothing casually. Please don’t interpreting my motives in expressing my own opinions. I believe this issue is a very serious one because it would set a very dangerous precedent. You make claims about malpractice by some practitioners and if they are proved correct then they should be acted on by the authorities. I have no problems with this.
On the topic of dishonesty, it seems to me to be a bit much to extend accusations to ‘passive dishonesty’ whatever that is. If we start going down that road for goodness sakes we can opening up a morass of commercial ‘passive dishonesty’ and who knows where that would end. It seems clear to me that both the sellers and customers of these products are well aware of the difference between alternative medicine for which there is no scientific evidence that they work, and scientific medicine, despite what a small number of individuals may be saying. Those customers have a right to buy their products and I don’t think it is anyone’s right to stop them.

Sorry if my attempt to paint the spectrum of attitudes towards dealing with this kind of situation didn’t work. I wasn’t trying to accuse you or Boots of extremism, merely describing what I see as a range of perspectives on the issue. However, desribing a letter-writing and publicity campaign by private citizens in the terms you have certainly partakes of as much hyperbole as anyone else in this discussion: “Where do we stop interfering with people’s ability to live their lives ? I find this scenario a chilling and frightening one.” I suspect your feelings about the issues of “freedom” for companies and consumers to do as they please are just as strong as mine about people selling bogus medicines that don’t work, so let’s try not to get lost in rhetoric.

I read with you say but I still feel my language was completely justified. I am puzzled by your comments here because your comments only seem appropriate when applied to a campaign to educate customers and to encourage them not to use these products. Have you actually read the letter being promoted ? On their website ?  Because it is NOT a campaign such as you describe.
The implications of this campaign go well beyond homeopathy and if it were successful I believe it would have serious and damaging ramifications for many other products and services that millions of people around the world believe in and use regularly and claim they benefit from (whether they actually do or not). The possibility that this campaign would succeed and be followed by further actions on other products and services is in my view chilling, frightening and a real threat to our freedom. I don’t know if you take freedoms like this lightly or just haven’t thought it through.

Ultimately, I think where we disagree is that I don’t find the issue of such commercial freedom nearly as compelling as you do, and I find the practice of selling remedies one knows don’t do anything to be unconscionable, so we probably aren’t going to get much closer in our opinions on this one.

I believe in the right of people to be as stupid as they chose to be and to believe in whatever sad and mistaken things they want to and if they chose to buy ridiculous products then so be it. I would like to persuade them otherwise but I will not remove their right.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 January 2010 07:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9301
Joined  2006-08-29
scepticeye - 10 January 2010 05:02 PM

This theory about advertising and how it makes people do stuff against their own free will is, in my opinion, mumbo jumbo and is not supported by good science.

The problem with advertising—a problem for the consumer, not the advertisers—is that it seldom works on the level of consciousness. Studying design and adverstising at the York University in Toronto with a focus on the psychology of marketing and from past many years of personal experience working in advertising I am aware that even though many of the “tricks” used by advertising agencies may be far from scientific, they do work.

[ Edited: 11 January 2010 07:34 AM by George ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 January 2010 07:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4576
Joined  2008-08-14
George - 11 January 2010 07:29 AM
scepticeye - 10 January 2010 05:02 PM

This theory about advertising and how it makes people do stuff against their own free will is, in my opinion, mumbo jumbo and is not supported by good science.

The problem with advertising—a problem for the consumer, not the advertisers—is that it seldom works on the level of consciousness. Studying design and adverstising at the York University in Toronto with a focus on the psychology of marketing and from past many years of personal experience working in advertising I am aware that even though many of the “tricks” used by advertising agencies may be far from scientific, they do work.

No doubt George. This can be said for advertisers of all types of Meds. Most of the arguments on both sides of this debate cancel one another out. It’s just a matter of allegiances. Or a lack of allegiance(which is my position). Have a nice day everyone. This posting was sent in a non-malicious manner with the best of intentions for all parties. LOL

 Signature 

Row row row your boat gently down the stream.  Merrily Merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 January 2010 08:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9301
Joined  2006-08-29
VYAZMA - 11 January 2010 07:53 AM

No doubt George. This can be said for advertisers of all types of Meds.

Sure, but deceiving people (which is what advertising does in one way or another) into purchasing water to threat their cough really seems less inappropriate than telling them that Advil works better that Tylenol. That’s at least how I see it.

EDIT: S/b more inappropriate

[ Edited: 11 January 2010 08:20 AM by George ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 January 2010 08:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  15435
Joined  2006-02-14
George - 11 January 2010 08:03 AM

Sure, but deceiving people (which is what advertising does in one way or another) into purchasing water to threat their cough really seems less inappropriate than telling them that Advil works better that Tylenol. That’s at least how I see it.

Less inappropriate? Or more inappropriate? I’d say it’s more inappropriate. (Advil does actually work better than Tylenol—paracetamol in Europe—for certain indications).

 Signature 

Doug

-:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:- -:—:-

El sueño de la razón produce monstruos

Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 January 2010 08:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  9301
Joined  2006-08-29
dougsmith - 11 January 2010 08:16 AM
George - 11 January 2010 08:03 AM

Sure, but deceiving people (which is what advertising does in one way or another) into purchasing water to threat their cough really seems less inappropriate than telling them that Advil works better that Tylenol. That’s at least how I see it.

Less inappropriate? Or more inappropriate? I’d say it’s more inappropriate. (Advil does actually work better than Tylenol—paracetamol in Europe—for certain indications).

Oops, of course: more inappropriate. Thanks.  red face

Profile
 
 
Posted: 11 January 2010 08:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4576
Joined  2008-08-14
George - 11 January 2010 08:18 AM
dougsmith - 11 January 2010 08:16 AM
George - 11 January 2010 08:03 AM

Sure, but deceiving people (which is what advertising does in one way or another) into purchasing water to threat their cough really seems less inappropriate than telling them that Advil works better that Tylenol. That’s at least how I see it.

Less inappropriate? Or more inappropriate? I’d say it’s more inappropriate. (Advil does actually work better than Tylenol—paracetamol in Europe—for certain indications).

Oops, of course: more inappropriate. Thanks.  red face

I gotcha. Nobody advertises their products as plain water. And advertisements for the multitudes of pharmaceuticals are far more varied and complicated than just competition between 2 over the counter analgesics.

 Signature 

Row row row your boat gently down the stream.  Merrily Merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream!

Profile
 
 
   
3 of 5
3
 
‹‹ Nurses and woo      Cold-eeze ››