Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Protect Patients From Exploitation By Alternative Medicines Industry, Expert Urges

Date:
November 28, 2006
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
It is time to protect patients from "vile and cynical exploitation" by the alternative medicines industry, argues a cancer expert in this week's British Medical Journal. It is estimated that up to 80 percent of all patients with cancer take a complementary treatment or follow a dietary programme to help treat their cancer, writes Jonathan Waxman, Professor of Oncology at Imperial College London.

It is time to protect patients from "vile and cynical exploitation" by the alternative medicines industry, argues a cancer expert in this week's British Medical Journal.

It is estimated that up to 80% of all patients with cancer take a complementary treatment or follow a dietary programme to help treat their cancer, writes Jonathan Waxman, Professor of Oncology at Imperial College London.

Yet the rationale for the use of many of these approaches is obtuse -- one might even be tempted to write misleading, he says.

Indeed the claims made by companies to support the sales of such products may be overtly and malignly incorrect and, in many cases, the products may be doctored by chemicals borrowed from the conventional pharmaceutical industry. The reason that these products are accessible to patients is that they are not subject to the testing of pharmaceuticals because they are classified as food supplements.

So why do patients take alternative medicines" Why is science disregarded" How can it be that treatments that don't work are regarded as life saving"

Waxman believes that it is because the complementary therapists offer something that doctors cannot offer -- hope. If you eat this, take that, avoid this, and really believe this then we can promise you sincerely that you will be cured.

And if the patient is not cured, it is the patient who has failed, not the alternative therapy. The patient has let down the alternative practitioner and disappointed his family who have encouraged his "treatment."

As well as the complementary medicines they take, many patients will have changed their diets in order to cure their cancers, says the author. But although there is a strong dietary basis to the development of cancer, once cancer has been diagnosed no change in diet will lead to any improvement in cancer outcomes, he writes.

Why do patients change their diet" For some it is a way of taking back some control of a situation that is entirely out of their control, says Waxman. For others it is because of the pressure put on them by families, friends or vested interest groups to "go organic."

"It's time for legislation to focus on a particularly vulnerable section of our society and do something to limit the exploitation of our patients," he says. Why not subject the alternative medicines industry to the level of scrutiny that defines pharmaceuticals"

"Reclassify these agents as drugs - for this is after all how they are marketed - and protect our patients from vile and cynical exploitation whose intellectual basis, at best, might be viewed as delusional. The current EU initiative to bring forward legislation on this matter is welcomed."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Protect Patients From Exploitation By Alternative Medicines Industry, Expert Urges." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 November 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061128093253.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2006, November 28). Protect Patients From Exploitation By Alternative Medicines Industry, Expert Urges. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061128093253.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Protect Patients From Exploitation By Alternative Medicines Industry, Expert Urges." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061128093253.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins