Articles

The drugs don’t work

In Evidence-Based Medicine, Health industry on December 15, 2009 by Hanna Tagged: ,

The BMJ have a series of articles about neuraminidase inhibitors or Tamiflu and Relenza or panic-purchased anti-virals. For in at risk groups they reduce the duration of symptoms by between 0.5 and 2 days as opposed to between 0.5 and 1.5 days for healthy adults (not that much difference in my opinion). And yet this HTA assessment does distinguish between groups and says they are cost effective. NICE guidance recommended these drugs as options and ‘said that its recommendations about oseltamivir and zanamivir should not reduce efforts to give vaccination (also called the flu jab) to people for whom it is recommended in national guidelines’ so the government hand that feeds is not bitten.

Antidepressents have also come under fire although here it is less about political action before evidence and more the increasing effectiveness of the placebo. Recently the UK Government’s Science and Technology committee evidence check on homeopathy discussed the placebo effect and the ethics of giving placebo as a medicine…

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3 Responses to “The drugs don’t work”

  1. The homeopathy evidence committee is a warming read on a chilly day.

    The Chair is not totally without bias – but I think many would support the position they are taking.

    I like the suggestion that there are no votes in it. I suspect there might be a few votes in the homeopathy question – it is an issue that ignites people – I am sure people have voted on less.

  2. Is homeopathy scientific? To know more check out this blog and the links it contains: http://homeopathicure.wordpress.com/2009/12/26/save-homeopathy-in-the-uk/

    • Thanks for your comment and link Dr Vaishnav. I cannot say that it convinces me further of the merits of homeopathy. An extended training programme that equips people more fully to understand peoples medical conditions might well make people a more effective support and placebo. The homepathic solutions remain nonsense.

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