ChaosEngine NZ

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Birthdate: August 17th, 1977 (36 years old)

Member Since: November 9, 2009
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draak13 says...

Thank you! Your comments were also thought provoking, and surprisingly information rich concerning the studies of St. Johns wort.

ChaosEngine said:

Excellent comment! Have a point!

ChaosEngine says...

No, if something is tested and works then that is no longer "alternative medicine", it is simply "medicine". The classic example is aspirin, which is derived from the bark of a willow tree. It was then tested and has now been accepted as medicine.

Just because the FDA accepts woo for political purposes, doesn't make it science.

As for FDA approval of St Johns Wort, there is some dispute about the bias of these studies, as it is unexplained why it works so much better in Germany http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD000448.pub3/full#CD000448-sec1-0005.

But for the sake of argument, let's assume there's plenty of evidence to support it. Again the answer is to streamline the approval process, not just let any muppet with some potpourri market it as a miracle cure.

I would much rather people pay 10 times the cost for medicine that actually works, and even better, doesn't kill people.

Of course, if you lived in a country with a sane healthcare system, you wouldn't actually worry about this, because in most of the world, it's considered poor form to let your citizens die from treatable diseases ,just because they can't pay for it.

Again, it's really simple, either you understand and accept the scientific method or you don't. Healthcare is complex and requires a lot of work to determine if something actually works. That costs money. It's unfortunate, but the results don't lie.

ShakaUVM said:

There are plenty of studies and tests done on alt med. What makes something alt med instead of medicine is not if it is efficacious (as you falsely believe) but if it is part of the prevailing medical tradition. This is the definition used by the FDA, the NHS, the WHO, and every other major health organization in the world. So if you don't like the definition of alt med, take it up with them.

We have plenty of studies on the efficacy of St. John's Wort. It is already 'approved'. End of story. Your 'simple answer' would require some company to pony up millions to billions of dollars to get it to pass FDA approval, when it is not patentable and so they would not be able to recover the extreme costs. Your 'simple answer' would mean simply removing all of these supplements from store shelves and forcing people into taking meds that are ten times as expensive with the same efficacy.

ShakaUVM says...

There are plenty of studies and tests done on alt med. What makes something alt med instead of medicine is not if it is efficacious (as you falsely believe) but if it is part of the prevailing medical tradition. This is the definition used by the FDA, the NHS, the WHO, and every other major health organization in the world. So if you don't like the definition of alt med, take it up with them.

We have plenty of studies on the efficacy of St. John's Wort. It is already 'approved'. End of story. Your 'simple answer' would require some company to pony up millions to billions of dollars to get it to pass FDA approval, when it is not patentable and so they would not be able to recover the extreme costs. Your 'simple answer' would mean simply removing all of these supplements from store shelves and forcing people into taking meds that are ten times as expensive with the same efficacy.

ChaosEngine said:

No, he's not wrong.

It's pretty simple. Either your supplement does what it claims to or it doesn't. If it does, submit it for testing and approval.

There's no such thing as "alternative medicine". There is only that which has been proven to work (i.e. medicine) and that which has either not been proven to work or been proven not to work.

Besides, it is completely unreasonable to expect the average person to research the efficacy of supplements. Even among intelligent educated people (clearly a minority), most of them do not have time, let alone the ability to conduct this kind of research. That's why we have regulatory bodies. I wouldn't ask an epidemiologist to build a house and I wouldn't ask an architect about the efficacy of drugs.

As for St Johns Wort, the answer is simple. If it works, get it approved. The solution is not "hey, this one thing works! Let's open the floodgates to every supplement!"

bareboards2 says...

Is there a time you are generally here, so we can finish our conversation? I am on the West Coast of America, to set the time zone difference if there is any.

I will be in and out all day. Give me a timeframe and I'll be sure to be near a computer about that time. If I can.

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