Mass overdose of alternative medicines planned

  • 28/01/2010

By Chris Whitworth

The New Zealand Skeptics Society is planning a mass “overdose” of alternative medicines, attempting to prove that homeopathic remedies are nothing but “sham and sugar”.

The group, who say they are committed to debunking “pseudo-science” and fake theories, plan to carry out the demonstration this Saturday in Christchurch.

Vicki Hyde, chair-entity of New Zealand Skeptics, says homeopathic remedies lack scientific proof and are based on “wishful thinking”.

“It's sham and sugar –and that's why an increasing number of people around the world are saying that pharmacies are being unethical in stocking this stuff,” she says.

Mary Glaisyer, spokesperson for the New Zealand Council of Homeopaths, says the Skeptics Society lack proper understanding of homeopathic remedies.

“I think in the field of homeopathic medicine they are very misguided - they don’t understand it,” she says.

Ms Glaisyer says the Skeptics Society refuses to believe any of the scientific studies the council presents them with.

“Their line is that whatever proof we offer, they don’t believe it,” she says.

“That is not the mind of a true scientist. They’re not true scientists.”

Ms Hyde says human response to medicine is a complex combination of both psychological and physiological factors, and to date no clear evidence backing homeopathic medicine has been found.

“We just ask that alt-health proponents provide clear evidence for their claims which don't require turning the basic laws of physics and chemistry, or even maths, on their head.”

Neither parties believe harm can be done from overdosing on homeopathic drugs, the council saying overdosing merely confuses the body’s response and the skeptics saying the drugs lack any real ‘active’ ingredients to do harm.

A similar British-based skeptics group tried to get homeopathic medicine removed from the UK National Health Service in 2008, but failed in their attempt.

3 News

(As part of the New Zealand Council of Homeopaths press release they released the following statistics)

- Dr. Peter Fisher, Medical Director of the London Homeopathic Hospital, reviewed the published homeopathy controlled trials in February 2008. In a briefing to the UK Parliament about the NHS homeopathic hospitals he said:
 
- There were 134 published RCTs of homeopathy to the end of 2007
 
- In terms of statistically significant findings, 59 (44%) of the 134 trials showed a positive effect for homeopathy (i.e., more effective than placebo); 8 (6%) showed a negative effect; 67 (50%) were inconclusive either way

- Furthermore 4 out of 5 comprehensive systematic reviews of homeopathy RCTs have concluded that homeopathy is not a placebo. 

 

source: newshub archive