Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Thousands given fake drugs by NHS





Or so ran the headline in today's Metro freesheet (London Edition at least). Copping sight of this banner over someone's shoulder whilst crammed into a Central Line train (as one does), I naturally assumed this was a story about placebo being meted out to patients at the Bristol NHS Homeopathy 'Hospital', or a story about how GPs are prescribing sugar pills for back pain and that sort of thing.

Imagine my disappointment when I picked up a copy, only to find that it was in fact a story about actual fake drugs, thought to be made by a fraudster named Kevin Xu, and sold to NHS procurement via a French wholesaler. I didn't know what to be more outraged by - the potential loss of life and limb as a direct result of this underhand dealing, or the shocking waste of a headline that could so easily have been put to better use on a story about NHS homeopathy-woo.

Still, at least someone out there's bothered about how the government's dealing with pseudoscientific nonsense. In what has to rank as one of the best posts I've seen on the subject, Dr*T has written a letter to Mr Ben Bradshaw MP, minister in charge of OFQUACK - err, I mean the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council - relating a series of complaints about how the 'regulator' functions and its shortcomings.

Read the letter, it's amusing, sharp, hard-hitting and absolutely spot on all at once. Nice work, and sure to elicit a frank and open response admitting OFQUACK's inadequacies and detailing how the government intends to set them right. Ahem.

4 comments:

NM said...

Wow...I imagined that with national healthcare, the formularies of acceptable medications would be even more tightly regulated than the quasi-privatized system in the US...

Dr* T said...

Cheers Teek, those are very edifying comments.

I've gone all red and bashful :)

Sean Ellis said...

Once again, here's a link to the Number 10 petition demanding a change in the rules for OfQuack certification. http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/CNHCsafety.

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