I love data and so does ‘Sense About Science’, the UK based pro-science trust. Sense About Science has launched the All Trials Campaign. The campaign aims to have pharmaceutical companies release the data from all the clinical trials they conduct.
Without the release of all data, pharmaceutical companies are free to indulge in selective publishing. That is, they may only publish the clinical trials that show the most favourable results for the products they would like us to consume.
The campaign coincides with the release of Dr Ben Goldacre’s new book ‘Bad Pharma’.
Countering Antivax Anecdotes with Provax Anecdotes
Nuns Fight Back! In last month’s Happenings, we reported on an attempt by The Vatican to rein in America’s fifty thousand nuns. Here’s the latest. Meanwhile, Australia’s last openly progressive Catholic bishop, Canberra’s Pat Power resigned, citing the Vatican’s inability to listen, clergy sex abuse and the shortage of priests as the biggest issues facing the church.
In Australia, a supreme court judge has forced Jehova’s Witness parents to allow their four-year-old daughter to receive a blood transfusion, without which she had a life expectancy of a few weeks. Read the rest of this entry »
This is a collection of odds, ends and newsy bits that have taken our attention in the last month.
The Global Atheist Convention in Melbourne was as big an event as predicted. There was even an appearance by both militant Christians and Muslims. HERE.For Dick Gross’s review, see HERE
The GAC was big enough to have its own fringe, in fact. Our own April Skeptics Café was billed as just such an event, featuring the delightful Eugenie Scott. It may not have represented an enormous crowd for Ms Scott – she is much in demand internationally as a speaker – but it set a record for La Notte’s Club Room. Read the rest of this entry »
The TGA will be making a final decision on the weight loss product, the SUPPREXXA Hunger Buster kit, after consideration of material provided by the sponsor, Chika Health Pty Ltd, in support of the claims made about the kit.
Assist Weight Loss, Decrease Hunger, Fight Fatigue, Stimulate Fat Burn and Improve Energy
The promoters also say it should be used:
…in conjunction with a healthy, energy controlled diet and exercise program.
To me, this looks like bait and switch advertising. Potential customers are seduced by the weight loss message, however, it may be that the only way weight is lost is by putting in the hard work with the diet and exercise program. Could potential customers simply not buy the kit (thereby saving $50) and Read the rest of this entry »
I think everyone is aware of the problem – magnetic underlays, ear candles, homeopathy and bogus weight loss products, to name but a few examples of modern day snake oil; products that make therapeutic claims but are unsupported by evidence that they work. The government agency responsible for protecting consumers from the greed and self-interest of quack medical products, the Therapeutic Goods Agency (TGA) appears powerless to stop it.
by Dr Mick Vagg, Clinical Senior Lecturer at Deakin University School of Medicine & Pain Specialist at Barwon Health
This article has been reprinted from The Conversation website where it appeared on 1/9/2001.
If a manufacturer claimed its product was “clinically proven” and could relieve your symptoms of bloating and fatigue, would you believe it? What about if you were chronically or terminally ill and had tried almost everything else?
The latest audit of complementary therapies found as many as nine out of ten companies made misleading claims about their weight loss products, vitamins, lotions, pills and gadgets.
The release on Tuesday of the Australian National Audit Office’s (ANAO) report on the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA)
performance as regulator of complementary medicine products makes for alarming reading. Read the rest of this entry »
Dr Ken Harvey is well known to Vic Skeptics and readers of this site as a tireless campaigner against the sale of unproven medicinal products. His actions leading to adverse findings against the Power Balance Wrist Band have been well documented here. Now SensaSlim Australia Pty. Ltd have labelled Dr Harvey’s complaint to the Therapeutic Goods Administration about the promotion of their slimming product as “defamatory”. Their legal action, which seeks punitive damages has also successfully stalled the complaint process.
This podcast from ABC’s The Health Reportdiscusses the use of SLAPP(Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) writs and the deficiency in current legislation which permits their use against TGA complaints.
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YAS Blog Anthology
The Young Australian Skeptics Blog Anthology is out now!
This collection features some of the best online skeptical writing of recent years, as nominated by readers.
The book includes contributions from Dr Phil Plait of “Bad Astronomy” Dr Karen Stollznow of the Point of Inquiry Podcast Brian Thompson of The Amateur Scientist podcast
Skepticblog’s Daniel Loxton and Yau-Man Chan
New York City Skeptics’ Lisa Bauer
UK Skeptic Dr Chris French
Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe’s Evan Bernstein ... and many others!
The e-book is available here or visit the Young Australian Skeptics website.