The random thoughts of a sceptical activist

Monthly Archives: December 2009

Casting the runes II

In Casting the runes, I highlighted the abject failure of OfQuack to reach even their ever-so-slightly modified 2009 membership target. Remember, it started out at 10,000. Then it was downsized to 4,000 — just five months after they opened for business — by re-writing their press release from the previous December. Then, in September, The Lay Scientist announced that their July Committee meeting minutes said they were planning a celebration in the Autumn when their membership was expected to reach the dizzy heights of just 2,000.

Well, now it’s the last day of 2009, how have they fared? For those following the OfQuack Fail widget, it’ll come as no surprise to find that they have failed — spectacularly.

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Washing dirty linen in public

The General Chiropractic Council publishes annual Fitness to Practice reports, which contain summaries of all complaints dealt with over the year and useful advice and guidance for chiropractors on topics like:

1. Professional boundaries
2. Abuse of trust or exploitation of lack of knowledge
3. Communication with patients and obtaining consent
4. Record keeping
5. Management and care: initial examination and review of treatment
6. Use of X-rays
7. Local complaints procedure
8. Treatment prescribed by another health professional
9. Protecting patients and colleagues from risk of harm
10. Honesty, integrity and trustworthiness
11. Politeness and consideration towards patients
12. Respecting confidentiality

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Shedding more light on acceptable evidence

Pharmacies are in the news again this week. Not Boots this time, but that other well-known high street chemist, Lloyds Pharmacy.

An ASA adjudication, published today, upheld a complaint against a TV advert about their ‘light therapy device‘.  The advert claimed:

Hay fever seasons [sic] here again.  But heres [sic] something you might not have tried before, the Lloyds Pharmacy hay fever reliever.  Its [sic] been shown to help reduce symptoms like your runny nose and itchy eyes … Just pop it up your nose for a couple of minutes two or three times a day and start making the most of your summer.

Although I wouldn’t be entirely keen on sticking anything up my nose, I don’t suffer from hay fever. However, I do know it can be a miserable condition and anything that might help would be worth a try. But you’d want something for which there was good evidence for efficacy before you splashed out your hard-earned cash, wouldn’t you? And you’d want the seller to be able to provide that good evidence when asked?

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