Consumer Health Digest #12-16
Your Weekly Update of News and Reviews
May 3, 2012
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.
JAMA commentary blasts NCCAM. Paul A. Offit, M.D., has added his voice to the growing chorus of criticism of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. [Offit P. Studying complementary and alternative therapies. JAMA 307:1803-1804, 2012] He stated:
- Since their inception, NCCAM and its predecessor agencies have spent $1.6 billion, much of it wasted.
- Many studies it sponsored lacked a sound biological underpinning, which should be an important requirement for funding.
- Believers often argue that it does not matter what the data show; they know what works for them.
- Because negative studies do not appear to change behavior and because studies performed without a sound biological basis have little to no chance of success, it would make sense for NCCAM to either refrain from funding studies of therapies that border on mysticism such as distance healing, purgings, and prayer; redefine its mission to include a better understanding of the physiology of the placebo response; or shift its resources to other NIH institutes.
Chiropractor who promised diabetes cure facing charges. The Utah Division of Professional Licensing (DOPL) has ordered Brandon Babcock, D.C., to stop seeing patients until the DOPL holds a hearing to determine the fate of his license. Last month the Lake County District Attorney charged him with bilking elderly patients and the City of West Jordan revoked his business license. Babcock has claimed to "reverse" Type II diabetes with "hidden secrets" involving supplements and a diet. [May H. Utah chiropractor accused of bilking elderly loses license: State officials say man's false claims of reversing diabetes are dangerous. The Salt Lake Tribune, April 25, 2012] Babcock's program is reportedly based on a system developed by Denver-based Brandon Credeur, D.C., a former classmate. Credeur is facing similar board action in Colorado.
Jacob Teitelbaum gets FDA warning letter. The FDA has ordered Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., doing business as From Fatigued to Fantastic, LLC, to stop making illegal therapeutic claims for Corvalen (D-Ribose), Coenzyme Q10, Jigsaw Magnesium w/ SRT, "BMR Complex (Thyroid Glandular), Energy Revitalization System, Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Chol-less, Thymic Protein, Alpha Lipoic acid, Black Cohosh, and Eskimo 3 Fish Oil. Teitelbaum is medical director of Chronicity (formerly named Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers) which operates 13 clinics in the United States. Last year the FDA warned Chronicity to stop making illegal claims for Chol-less and several other products.
New edition of Consumer Health published. McGraw-Hill has published the ninth edition of Consumer Health: A Guide to Intelligent Decisions, written by Drs. Stephen Barrett, William M. London, Harriet Hall, Manfred Kroger, and Robert S. Baratz. The 576-page book covers all aspects of basic health strategy for consumers. Its companion Web site, Consumer Health Sourcebook, provides additional information and links to references. A few copies at a discounted price are available for $110 postpaid from Quackwatch, Suite 107/208; 11312 US Highway 15-501 North; Chapel Hill, NC 27517. (U.S. orders only.)
This page was posted on May 5, 2012.