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False medical claims

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False medical claims
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StevePosts: 6Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:22 pm

Post False medical claims

Hi,

Does anyone know what my options are against somebody who is making psuedomedical claims that I disagree with.

I'm a pharmacist in a hospital, and there is a woman who privately runs (on hospital premises) a "de-stress zone" for staff. She offers massage, fair enough, but she claims "it has been proven to help depression, migraine, (and two other things I cant remember)"

She also claims that "it works on the meridians of the body"

It irritates me that she is spreading psuedoscientific rubbish (meridians) and making false medical claims (treating depression & migraine) in the first place, and that it is done on hospital premises gives it an extra veneer of respectiability.

Are such claims illegal? (She doesn't claim to cure cancer which I know specifically illegal)

Or do they fall foul of the Advertising Standards Agency as false advertising?

Any ideas what can I do about this?

Help
Steve
Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:00 pm
SquawkModeratorUser avatarPosts: 2011Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 8:25 pm Gender: Tree

Post Re: False medical claims

I would suggest that depends on which country you are in, for starters, but precise wording would have an influence.
Pope Rat: "Exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus a reductive vision of a person and his destiny."

Squawk response: "O Rly?"
Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:18 pm
StevePosts: 6Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:22 pm

Post Re: False medical claims

Squawk wrote:I would suggest that depends on which country you are in, for starters, but precise wording would have an influence.

I'm in the UK.

I can get the precise wording tomorrow, but it's not far off what I have said above.
Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:28 pm
borrofburiModeratorPosts: 3527Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:27 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: False medical claims

Massages have been shown to be a somewhat effective treatment for some things... I do not recall what they are though. Also her explanation is bullshit.

Wording matters a lot though.
Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:40 pm
SquawkModeratorUser avatarPosts: 2011Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 8:25 pm Gender: Tree

Post Re: False medical claims

A quick search of the literature reveals essentially no support for her position, so I'd say you would have a great case for getting her booted the hell out of there for making unjustified claims in a state run hospital.
Pope Rat: "Exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society and thus a reductive vision of a person and his destiny."

Squawk response: "O Rly?"
Mon Apr 12, 2010 7:46 pm
StevePosts: 6Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:22 pm

Post Re: False medical claims

Squawk wrote:A quick search of the literature reveals essentially no support for her position, so I'd say you would have a great case for getting her booted the hell out of there for making unjustified claims in a state run hospital.


Good. I'm reluctant to put a lot of effort into researching her position. My bullshit sensors are quite confident there will be no good research. The onus is on her to back up her claims. Here looks promising too.
http://www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH/WSIHW000/8513/34968/365286.html?d=dmtContent

Tomorrow I will find out if she is willing to meet me to discuss...
Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:54 pm
GiliellUser avatarPosts: 1218Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:29 am Gender: Female

Post Re: False medical claims

Hope you kick the hell out of her.
You could also check EU regulations. At least for food you have to back up any claims about health effects with data
Go to heaven, we don't want you in hell with us!
Most people don't object to discrimination and oppression as such, they only object to being at the receiving end
Tue Apr 13, 2010 9:07 am
StevePosts: 6Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:22 pm

Post Re: False medical claims

The plot thickens! I now find out she also is promoting chuffing ear candles, hot stone therapy and many other pseudotherapies!

I have all her 'flyers'. I'm going to insist she stops making any medical claims she cant substantiate or I'll report her to the Advertising Standards Authority. But how much evidence is required to justify a claim that "it has been proven to help depression"? Anyone know?

Also I am going to pursue it with whoever allows her space in the hospital. Not sure who that is yet.

Rather threateningly she has reported me to the HR department for "attacking her". This is quite random as I have behaved courteously and impecably IMHO (and have the emails to prove it) but I doubt HR people subscribe to the same philosphies as scientists who challenge each other so who knows what they may think! However the hospital is a scientific establishment and therefore they can f*** off! (I'll try hard not to say it to them like that...)
Tue Apr 13, 2010 11:00 pm
borrofburiModeratorPosts: 3527Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:27 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: False medical claims

Steve wrote:The plot thickens! I now find out she also is promoting chuffing ear candles, hot stone therapy and many other pseudotherapies!

Ear waxing is demonstrably harmful, so that takes things to another level.
Tue Apr 13, 2010 11:07 pm
JustBusiness17User avatarPosts: 1484Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:29 amLocation: Earth, Solar System, Milky Way, The Universe, Etc etc... Gender: Male

Post Re: False medical claims

Steve wrote:I have all her 'flyers'. I'm going to insist she stops making any medical claims she cant substantiate or I'll report her to the Advertising Standards Authority. But how much evidence is required to justify a claim that "it has been proven to help depression"? Anyone know?

Also I am going to pursue it with whoever allows her space in the hospital. Not sure who that is yet.

Rather threateningly she has reported me to the HR department for "attacking her". This is quite random as I have behaved courteously and impecably IMHO (and have the emails to prove it) but I doubt HR people subscribe to the same philosphies as scientists who challenge each other so who knows what they may think! However the hospital is a scientific establishment and therefore they can f*** off! (I'll try hard not to say it to them like that...)


Whatever you do, don't threaten her!!! You really shouldn't have involved yourself unnecessarily at all, but you really don't want to get her after you for harassment. Trying to reason with people who are unreasonable always turns into a big fight so save yourself the headache.

At this point, there's no point in beating around the bush and giving her an opportunity to make a fuss. Contact the ASA for advice (they are not an enforcement branch) to find out if she is breaking any laws. If she is, contact the appropriate government office to conduct an inspection.

A first offense is always a slap on the wrist but that should be enough to ensure that she acts within the law from that point forward.




I think this thread might help you: viewtopic.php?f=25&t=3622



When it comes to legal matters, its always best to move slowly and cautiously until you're certain you have a solid case. Once you're committed to proceeding, move quick and hard.
ttyl
Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:24 am
JustBusiness17User avatarPosts: 1484Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:29 amLocation: Earth, Solar System, Milky Way, The Universe, Etc etc... Gender: Male

Post Re: False medical claims

borrofburi wrote:
Steve wrote:The plot thickens! I now find out she also is promoting chuffing ear candles, hot stone therapy and many other pseudotherapies!

Ear waxing is demonstrably harmful, so that takes things to another level.

Its actually illegal in the US:

Candles marketed with health claims are classified by the FDA as medical devices. As such, they are illegal to market without FDA approval, which none of them have. During the past few years, the agency has banned the importation of auricular candles marketed by at least four Canadian companies [5]:

http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRel ... dling.html
ttyl
Wed Apr 14, 2010 8:39 am
StevePosts: 6Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:22 pm

Post Re: False medical claims

JustBusiness17 wrote: You really shouldn't have involved yourself unnecessarily at all...

...Trying to reason with people who are unreasonable always turns into a big fight so save yourself the headache.


Hmm! Thanks for the rest of the advice, but I'm not with you here! You are correct that it may end up a headache for me, but it hopefully will end up with a much greater good. She is the equivalent of Typhoid Mary, infecting everyone else with her misinformation. If I can stop her at source then it will protect thousands from having their minds poisoned by her.
Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:24 pm
JustBusiness17User avatarPosts: 1484Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2010 9:29 amLocation: Earth, Solar System, Milky Way, The Universe, Etc etc... Gender: Male

Post Re: False medical claims

Steve wrote:
JustBusiness17 wrote: You really shouldn't have involved yourself unnecessarily at all...

...Trying to reason with people who are unreasonable always turns into a big fight so save yourself the headache.


Hmm! Thanks for the rest of the advice, but I'm not with you here! You are correct that it may end up a headache for me, but it hopefully will end up with a much greater good. She is the equivalent of Typhoid Mary, infecting everyone else with her misinformation. If I can stop her at source then it will protect thousands from having their minds poisoned by her.

Lets face the facts: A) few people like being told what to do, B) she probably believes in her treatments to some extent and C) you're messing with her livelihood. Believing that she would see the light and pack up shop after a few conversations is some pretty ambitious wishful thinking.

Its not a big deal, but you open yourself up to retaliation when you make it a personal issue. I like to keep my list of enemies as short as possible, but then again, I'm a business person... We're only a few steps up from politicians :D
ttyl
Thu Apr 15, 2010 8:01 am
StevePosts: 6Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:22 pm

Post Re: False medical claims

JustBusiness17 wrote:Lets face the facts: A) few people like being told what to do, B) she probably believes in her treatments to some extent and C) you're messing with her livelihood. Believing that she would see the light and pack up shop after a few conversations is some pretty ambitious wishful thinking.

Its not a big deal, but you open yourself up to retaliation when you make it a personal issue. I like to keep my list of enemies as short as possible, but then again, I'm a business person... We're only a few steps up from politicians :D


Yes I'm definitely fighting this battle at my own expense with nothing personally to gain. I suppose that's why I work in the NHS rather than being a businessman! You are correct in what you say. But I'd reply with...
A) I don't like being told not to put babies on spikes, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't be told
B) Only because a nice chap like me hasn't explained politely how science and evidence actually works
C) True, that is unfortunate, but doesn't make her right if she is (as I believe) acting unethically in using the hospital name to promote her bogus treatments for personal gain by misleading people.

Meeting with her manager is planned for 3 weeks time. Who says the NHS is slow! I'll report back. Any more wise words in the meantime gratefully received.
Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:55 pm
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