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Voice of Young Science Discredits Homeopathy

Posted by Sanjib Sarkar on Mon, Sep 21, 2009 @ 01:15 AM

Tags: Homeopathy in Africa, WTO condemns homeopathy

  Homeopathy is under attack once again by the Voice Of Young Science.  This is a charity group in the UK that says that homeopathy should not be used in Africa to help people with life threatening diseases in Africa.

  The group says all their data is research and trial based.  They say there are no such trials that exist that say homeopathy can treat life threatening diseases. However, recent trials suggest that homeopathy medicine was as effective as conventional medicine in treating malaria.  These trials are small and larger trials are needed.  Trials certainly seem to be on homeopathy side for malaria. 

  This group has many scientific donors as well as pharmacetical companies.   They tout evidence base medicine as the really only effective medicines for treatment.  This group does not realize that many conventional medicines on the market today would not pass placebo based testing.  

  The group issued a letter to the press media that the WTO officially condemns homeopathy and says that it has no merit in the world of medicine.  They say the WTO condemns homeopathy for treating malaria, tuberculousis, diarrhea and other diseases in developing countries in Africa.  BBC picked up this press release and send it out to the world.  WTO did not make this official announcement.  BBC did recant their press release but the information did go out to the general public.

  Millions of people die each year in Africa because they have no access to prescription drugs.  They are essientially left with no option except to die.  Homeopathy is cheap and readily avaiable.  There is no reason why homeopathy can not reach the poor people who need it.  

  Homeopathy is making a significant impact in Africa.   In Kenya, the homeopathic Abha Light Foundation operates twenty health clinics, various mobile offices and even a couple of HIV/AIDS centers.  The results of these clinics have been tremendous.  Malaria results with homeopathy have been well received by patients.  Other homeopathic clinics are working in Botswana and Tanzania to help people that do not have access to proper healthcare.

Homeopathy is having an impact in Africa.  Attacks on homeopathy are usually a positive thing.  Homeopathy is being attacked because drug companies see this type of alternative medicine as being a threat to their profits. 

Homeopathy does need significantly more research and funding.  The positive results of the African clinics suggests more research should be done.  Homeopathy can ideally work together with modern medicine to help people live a longer and better life.  


Placebo Nightmare For Big Pharma

Posted by Sanjib Sarkar on Wed, Sep 02, 2009 @ 02:12 AM

Tags: Placebo Effect

  Trials with medicines are always compared to a placebo.  Alternative medicines such as homeopathy, herbs, acupuncture and allopathic medicine are usually tested against placebos.  Placebos are simply sugar pills that contain no medicines at all.  Not all placebos are sugar pills.  An acupunture placebo may be a fake needle.  Many skeptics claim that alternative medicines make patients feel better because of the placebo effect.

  The placebo effect is a strange occurrence.  It is where a person believes a medicine will help them.  It really does not matter what is in the medicine.  The person's belief in the medicine actually heals them.  Many people belief homeopathy is a great example of the placebo effect.  Homeopathy uses extremely diluted substances that scientists claim show no substance at all.  

  Pharmaceutical companies are now thinking the placebo effect is getting stronger.  Drugs like Prozac faired no better than a placebo in recent drug trials.  The FDA only approved 19 drugs in 2007 and 24 drugs in 2008.  Most drugs are doing no better than a placebo in clinical trials.  The pharmaceutical companies are spending more money than ever on research and development.  Pharmacy companies are feeling pressure because of the apparent strength of placebos. 

  No one is quite sure why placebo strengths have increased.  Some theories suggest that people hear about miracle drugs on the television.  They are seeing all of these miracle drugs on TV, magazines and anything else they see.  People are just assuming that they are taking the next miracle drug to help them cure their ailment. Pharmacetical companies own marketing may be increasing the placebo effect.

Another theory is that the mind is weirded differently than ten years ago.  The human mind is always evolving.  This evolution of the mind may also cause this increased placebo effect.  The brain is mysterious and difficult to understand.  Depression drugs and mind type drugs seem to show the placebo effect as well.  The human mind is thinking that taking any type of medicine will alleviate their issues.  This could help explain why prozac trials failed recently although they were successful several years back. 

 Pharmacetical industry is a billion dollar business.  The stronger placebo effects could potentially threaten their revenue stream.  Drugs that are already in stores are being flooded by cheaper generic medicines.  Much of big pharmacies money comes from new drugs that will reach the market place.  These new drugs can not be flooded by generics for at least 3 years.  Big Pharmas are desperate to get new drugs to the market to continue to grow their companies.  


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