Consumer Health Digest #13-38
Your Weekly Update of News and Reviews
October 10, 2013
Consumer Health Digest is a free weekly e-mail newsletter edited by Stephen Barrett, M.D., with help from William M. London, Ed.D., M.P.H. It summarizes scientific reports; legislative developments; enforcement actions; news reports; Web site evaluations; recommended and nonrecommended books; and other information relevant to consumer protection and consumer decision-making.
FDA warns homeopathic manufacturers. During the past seven months, the FDA has sent warning letters to at least seven homeopathic marketers. The letters mention:
- The FDA's Compliance Policy Guide for homeopathic products states that only products intended solely for self-limiting disease conditions amenable to self-diagnosis (of symptoms) and treatment may be marketed over the counter (OTC).
- Products named after a disease (such as "Infant Earache Drops" or "Vaginitis") that requires medical management or marketed with explicit claims (such as "useful for inflammations") that indicate a need for medical management cannot be marketed as OTC drugs.
- The companies include Dolgencorp Inc. (1 product), Homeolab USA, Inc., Insight Pharmaceuticals, LLC (1 product), MedTech Products (1 Product), Natural Medicine Associates (15 products), Standard Homeopathic Company (22 products), and Topco Associates LLC (1 product). Standard Homeopathic was warned about faulty manufacturing procedures and 3 other products in 2011.
Oregon board issues chelation-related warning. The Oregon Medical Board has issued a Statement of Philosophy regarding chelation therapy. The document states:
- There is no scientific evidence that chelation therapy is effective for any medical condition other than heavy metal toxicity.
- Post-chelator challenge ("provoked") urinary metal testing does not meet the standard of care for diagnosis of heavy metal toxicity.
- Chelation should be administered only after making a diagnosis of heavy metal toxicity, which includes (a) a blood test or other accepted unprovoked test confirming the presence of heavy metals and (b) a careful determination that chelation therapy is appropriate for the particular patient.
Provoked testing is accomplished by collecting the specimen after administering a chelating agent that artificially and temporarily raises blood and urine levels. [Barrett S. How the urine toxic metals test is used to defraud patients. Quackwatch, April 19, 2013] The American College of Medical Toxicology and the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology have jointly warned that "'provoked' or 'challenge' tests of urine are not reliable means to diagnose metal poisoning and have been associated with harm." The Board's action may have been generated by a case in which an autistic child had received several courses of chelation therapy for nonexistent "lead toxicity" diagnosed with provoked urine testing. The child's doctor escaped discipline, but the board's announcement suggests that, in the future, similar behavior will be considered unprofessional conduct.
|Chiropractic exposé published. Chiropractic Abuse: An Insider's Lament, published by the American Council on Science and Health, presents an insider's view of chiropractic history and education; economic abuse of patients; insurance fraud and abuse; laxness of chiropractic regulation; neck manipulation and stroke; suggestions for reform; how current and prospective patients can protect themselves; and much more. The author, Preston Long, D.C., Ph.D., has practiced chiropractic and served as a consultant to insurance companies for many years. The most unusual portions are Long's experiences as a student and his practical tips for insurance claims examiners. The book was edited by Stephen Barrett, M.D. and has a foreword by former National Council Against Health Fraud president William T. Jarvis, Ph.D. Discounted copies are available through Amazon Books.|
This page was posted on October 10, 2013.