Cold-eeze
Posted: 17 January 2010 08:00 AM   [ Ignore ]
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after reading the 10:23 post I have kept my eyes open for homeopathic drugs in our local store.
One is Cold-Eeze
http://www.adrugrecall.com/crestor/cold-eeze/index.html

http://www.coldeeze.com/

I am not sure if coldeeze is homeopathic and continues a negligible amount of stuff or if it actually has enough zinc to cause some people to lose their sense of smell….

The box says ‘homeopathic’ right above the “EEZE”  but also says ‘clinically proven to be effective in reducing the length of colds’
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Posted: 17 January 2010 08:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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It’s homeopathic. The problem is that due to a long-ago decision by congress, homeopathic remedies can be sold as treating or curing disease. Basically they can say anything they like no matter how false it is and they cannot be prosecuted for it.

“Clinically proven” claims on alt meds are garbage. They will cherry pick a study that was vaguely supportive, even if it wasn’t double-blinded or placebo controlled, published in an actual medical journal, or otherwise credible. And sometimes they will simply have no study at all, and basically just dare someone to call them on it.

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Posted: 17 January 2010 12:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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In some cases, “clinically proven” means that they gave a dose to their receptionist, who had a cold, and she claims to have felt better afterward. They declare their office, a clinic.

Or as Doug pointed out, a study is casually picked, which often has nothing to do with the claims on the box. For example, they could pick a study that says “human immune system helps to fight colds.” Well of course it does. Now they claim their product is clinically proven, as the immune system fights colds, and their product allegedly “boosts the immune system.”

There was a sham “Autism cure” doctor who claimed his chelation therapy was clinically proven to cure autism. He cited a study that no parent would dig through, if they were even able to find it! I believe Science Based Medicine dug through the study. The study said simply that chelation therapy was clinically proven to remove metals from the bloodstream. So because this jackass claimed Autism was caused by metal poisoning from vaccines, he felt justified in stating that the clinical study validated his dangerous treatment. (A couple of children have died from the chelation therapy, see Science Based Medicine for the sad stories.)

There are also sham companies that can easily be hired to create a fake clinical study, as was done with “Airborne Cold Preventative.” They were fined by the FDA for that, millions of dollars. The fake clinic (A marketing consultant and his assistant in a rented office, with no medical or scientific experience) simply typed up a fake study. There are also doctors sadly available to endorse your product, for a fee.

It reminds me of the Acai berry scams. They tout in their B.S. ads “As seen on ABC and NBC!” Yet the only time the product was mentioned on those two channels was during investigative segments about how the berry does NOTHING and warning of many scam ads! It’s all in the marketing. Although deplorable, I do find the marketing fascinating, and their ability to spin negative press is amazing. Now that word is out about the berry scams, new ads have popped up stating “Read here for the Acai berry SCAM warning!” it links to a fake news article stating that many scams are going on, but their “news team” has uncovered the one product that is legitimate, and they tested it with miraculous results. All you have to do is click here to order it! Boom! You’re stuck in the negative-option marketing black hole, and good luck getting out of it without cancelling your credit card altogether!

Feel free to write the FDA to complain about bogus claims you see. Although they don’t have the resources to follow up personally on every claim, they do fire out thousands of warning letters to companies, which is often enough (with the threat of fines in the letter) to startle a company into removing a claim. Although as Doug pointed out, there appears to be a loop-hole for certain homeopathic remedies.

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Posted: 17 January 2010 01:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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The first problem with such remedies is that they freely use the term “homeopathic” without any guarantee that they conform to the practices of homeopathy as defined in the original food and durg act, so it is possible that something labelled as homeopathic could not be as diluted and harmless as is generally assumed.

The second issue, is whether or not the “gandfather” status of homeopathic remedies under U.S. drug laws permits label claims of cure and treatment. This isn’t alltogether clear, but it appears that changes in the laws would make such claims illegal but that the government has never had the will to act on this. Below is a summary from the National Council Against Health Fraud (affiliated with Quackwatch):

Federal Regulation
For many years homeopathic product marketing was quiescent, but with the health fad boom of the 1970’s and 1980’s, promoters began touting homeopathic remedies.  In 1985 the FDA estimated that between 50 and 60 companies were marketing such products in the United States (FDA, 1985).

The 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act contains a section that recognizes as “drugs” items listed in the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States.  This was mainly due to the efforts of New York Senator Royal Copeland who was the foremost homeopathic physician of his day.  In 1938, safety was the main issue, and the highly diluted homeopathic products seemed to pose no inherent danger.  However, in 1962, the Kefauver-Harris Amendment was passed requiring that drugs be proved effective before distribution.  A legal fight loomed as to whether or not homeopathic drugs were grandfathered by the law, but FDA did not press the issue.  Instead, it permitted products aimed at common ailments to be marketed over-the-counter (OTC), and restricted those aimed at serious ailments to prescription only.

This “passed the buck” to the states that regulate the practitioners who write the prescriptions, putting consumers at the mercy of maverick homeopathic physicians.  It also sent a signal to marketers that it was open season on consumers with regard to OTC homeopathic products.  The resulting marketplace growth increased the ability of trade groups to gain political support and made future regulatory action more difficult.  Homeopathic claims of efficacy are unsubstantiated and violate the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) advertising standards, but the FTC has not acted against homeopathic advertising claims. Homeopathic remedies sold or transported by mail are subject to action by the U.S. Postal Inspectors, but few such actions have been taken.

The FDA complaince guidelines specifically state

1. Health Fraud: The deceptive promotion, advertisement, distribution or sale of articles, intended for human or animal use, that are represented as being effective to diagnose, prevent, cure, treat, or mitigate disease (or other conditions), or provide a beneficial effect on health, but which have not been scientifically proven safe and effective for such purposes. Such practices may be deliberate, or done without adequate knowledge or understanding of the article.
2. A product’s compliance with requirements of the HPUS, USP, or NF does not establish that it has been shown by appropriate means to be safe, effective, and not misbranded for its intended use.

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Posted: 17 January 2010 01:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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One thing I’ve been seeing now and then, is someone writing to the company asking for a copy of the clinical study. They’re supposed to either provide it or refer you to where you can get a copy. This really gets their goat. Then if you like, you can find out how the clinical study is either fake, self-published, or has nothing to do with the product. Then take to the inter-webs to expose them.  cheese

I love when Science Based Medicine and other bloggers do this.

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Posted: 17 January 2010 02:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Jules - 17 January 2010 01:16 PM

One thing I’ve been seeing now and then, is someone writing to the company asking for a copy of the clinical study. They’re supposed to either provide it or refer you to where you can get a copy. This really gets their goat. Then if you like, you can find out how the clinical study is either fake, self-published, or has nothing to do with the product. Then take to the inter-webs to expose them.  cheese

I love when Science Based Medicine and other bloggers do this.

OK remember I’m skeptical about Cold-Eeze don’t take anything I say as promoting it….

The Cold-Eeze box actually had the references to journal articles {I didn’t buy the box}
Their WWW site has *.pdfs from the various studies…
http://www.coldeeze.com/cold-eeze_clinical_studies/

what I didn’t understand at all was how it could be claimed to be ‘effective’ and be labelled ‘homeopathic’.  What I was wondering was whether in this particular case ‘homeopathic’ was incorrectly used for ‘~natural’ or ‘~organic’  for promotional purposes.

Actually one seems to be from Cleveland Clinic.  Maybe I’ll send an email to some that have email addresses.  Will let you know.

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Posted: 17 January 2010 02:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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On cold-eeze, from Quackwatch, HERE:

QVC, Inc. and the Quigley Corporation have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that the companies made unsubstantiated claims that Cold-Eezer or Cold-Eeze brand zinc lozenges can prevent colds and alleviate allergy symptoms. Quigley also settled charges that it made unsubstantiated claims in advertisements for Kids-Eeze Bubble-Gum regarding the product’s ability to reduce the severity of cold symptoms in children.

<snip>

The FTC alleged that both companies made unsubstantiated claims that Cold-Eeze can: prevent colds; relieve the symptoms of allergies and hay fever; reduce the risk of contracting pneumonia; and reduce the severity of cold symptoms in children. ...

I wonder if they took to labeling it “homeopathic” after this settlement?

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Posted: 17 January 2010 02:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Harvard Health on zinc, which appears to be the supposed active ingredient here:

HERE:

Taking zinc has been proposed as a way to shorten colds and perhaps reduce their severity. Stanford researchers reported in 2007 that three of four studies that they identified as being the most reliable didn’t find a therapeutic benefit from zinc lozenges or nasal spray. The fourth, which tested a nasal gel, did. There have been several reports, though, of zinc gels causing a loss of the sense of smell that can last more than six months.

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Posted: 17 January 2010 02:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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dougsmith - 17 January 2010 02:06 PM

On cold-eeze, from Quackwatch, HERE:
.......

The FTC alleged that both companies made unsubstantiated claims that Cold-Eeze can: prevent colds; relieve the symptoms of allergies and hay fever; reduce the risk of contracting pneumonia; and reduce the severity of cold symptoms in children. ...

I wonder if they took to labeling it “homeopathic” after this settlement?

but kept the clinical trial info on the box? the problem is that it seems to have a non-homeopathic dose of this zinc glutonate…

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Posted: 17 January 2010 02:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Jackson - 17 January 2010 02:19 PM

but kept the clinical trial info on the box? the problem is that it seems to have a non-homeopathic dose of this zinc glutonate…

Lots of alt med purveyors unashamedly flout the law. They know that the profits they can make from selling this stuff often make “settlement” amounts basically the cost of doing business. I hear them on the radio all the time, and my local health food store is chockablock with them.

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Posted: 17 January 2010 02:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Let’s see.  The way homeopathy is supposed to work is to reduce the active ingredients as much as possible, and as this is done the remedy works even better.  Well, I got a nasty cold earlier this week.  I didn’t go to the drug store, I didn’t buy Cold-Ezee, so I didn’t take any of that homeopathic medication.  Aha, it works.  I reduced the amount of all ingredients to zero and I’m getting better.  LOL

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Posted: 17 January 2010 03:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Jackson - 17 January 2010 02:00 PM

Actually one seems to be from Cleveland Clinic.  Maybe I’ll send an email to some that have email addresses.  Will let you know.

email address for first two papers bounced…

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Posted: 17 January 2010 03:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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These papers may well be legitimate, but it’s impossible to know their status within the medical literature without knowing that literature very well, and in particular the studies that may have shown precisely the opposite of what the listed papers showed. (E.g., Harvard above cites a Stanford paper in 2007 that looked at experimental design and picked the best, all of which showed that zinc lozenges were useless). There’s a very good sense that one well designed large study is worth an infinite number of poorly designed, smaller studies.

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Posted: 17 January 2010 04:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Jackson - 17 January 2010 02:00 PM

What I was wondering was whether in this particular case ‘homeopathic’ was incorrectly used for ‘~natural’ or ‘~organic’  for promotional purposes.

This is a good point, and something I brought up my concerns about in a previous thread. I fear that people will confuse the two (including manufacturers and marketers). While true homeopathic remedies are simply flavored water, natural or herbal remedies can do damage, especially when taken along with certain prescription medications. I was guilty of using the terms interchangeably myself, before I took an interest in learning the difference some time ago.

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Posted: 17 January 2010 06:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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dougsmith - 17 January 2010 02:25 PM
Jackson - 17 January 2010 02:19 PM

but kept the clinical trial info on the box? the problem is that it seems to have a non-homeopathic dose of this zinc glutonate…

Lots of alt med purveyors unashamedly flout the law. They know that the profits they can make from selling this stuff often make “settlement” amounts basically the cost of doing business. I hear them on the radio all the time, and my local health food store is chockablock with them.

Air-born had to fork over millions of dollars for claiming to cure the cold, but they’ve expanded into curing even more…and appear to be bigger than ever! See what a second grade teacher can accomplish if she has not conscience!!

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Posted: 08 February 2011 01:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Thank you for your helpful information about this one.

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