Friday, 17 December 2010

Fake "discovery" at IIT Bombay


Times of India reported the "success" of scientists at IIT Bombay in proving scientific basis of effectiveness of homeopathy in nano-technology.However,this entire article is based on fake research and is indeed a sham in the name of science.Please consider this-

(1)Had it been science, it would have been published in a journal of Chemical Engineering and not some "peer-reviewed" homeopathy journal !!
(2)As there are only about 1080 atoms in the entire observable universe, a dilution of one molecule in the observable universe would be about 40C.200 C dilution would thus require 10320 more universes to simply have one molecule in the final substance.Furthermore,the laws of chemistry state that there is a limit to the dilution that can be made without losing the original substance altogether. This limit, which is related to Avogadro's number, is roughly equal to homeopathic potencies of 12C or 24X (1 part in 1024). In other words a mole of substance contains only about 1024 molecules and dilution of 10400 is meaningless.

Moreover,one fails to understand as to how the presence of minute quantity of metals in very dilute solutions has made them believe that "homeopathy works on the principles of nano-technology".This is a concoction of highest order.Where is the proof that presence of minute quantities of metals (mis-quoted as nano-particles) is the cause of clinically observable "effect"of homeopathic "drugs"?? What is the relationship between dose and response?? These "scientists"owe an apology for making bogus declarations without adequate proof.

IIT Bombay should not have allowed its tag to be used for an obviously fake claim and how this bogus research found its way into a leading newspaper makes us ponder about quality standards of journalism in India.


Sunday, 7 November 2010

The Poverty Factor

Why do Indians entertain such a false and disproven belief as homeopathy at such a mass scale?. Probably, it can be traced to a great extent to abject poverty status in India with as many as 37% population below poverty line.It is the cost of modern treatment which in many cases forces the poor patient to take recourse to "alternative" treatment.However, it is so unfortunate that these poor people should be given false hope by "fake" doctors.The social security system of the country is in a dismal state,people don't have enough money to afford to pay medical insurance premiums and cost of modern drugs and diagnostics procedures is rising rapidly.However, none of these justify the existence of a trap of a fraudulent system of "treatment" which can never offer any relief,to say the least.

Thus on the one hand poor are facing the severest brunt in terms of bad health care by the practice of homeopathy,the rich are being lured into the trap through marketing gimmicks such as "multi-speciality clinics"(see previous post).There is so much on the stake for the people that we need to rise up to ban homeopathy.


Wednesday, 7 July 2010

"Homeopathy can kill !!"

Homeopathy is the antiscientific belief that infinitely diluted medicine in water can cure various ailments. It’s perhaps the most useless of all "alternative" medicines, since it clearly cannot work, does not work, and has been tested repeatedly and shown to be useless.
Thousands of patients (may be lacs) end up worsening their medical condition due to false but firm belief in homeopathy in India.Scores of such patients also die .The cases are either unreported or efforts to highlight them are gagged by powerful homeopathic lobby and blissfully ignorant government.Visit any super-speciality hospital in India and doctors would tell you about this pathetic and grim state of affairs where one pseudoscience is allowed to be practiced,not only practiced but also propagated, in utter disregard of concern for citizen's health.Infectious diseases which can easily be treated by antibiotic/anti-fungal/antiviral drugs become fatal with patients going to homeopathy who,though not always, doom them to catastrophe by denying them easy access to medications. Cancers are allowed to grow and metastasize (disseminate to other parts of the body) by ineffective sweet pills. Shrewd attempts to weave homeopathy in traditional Indian System of Medicine are only signalling a looming disaster for health of the mankind.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Watch Your Prescription

Ever wondered what kind of substances are used to make homeopathic "medicine"?.Here is a sample list:
(1)Raw bovine testicles
(2)Crushed honey bees (Apis mellifica)
(3)Belladona (deadly nightshade)
(4)Cadmium
(5)Sulphur
(7)Arsenic
(8)Poison nut (Nux vomica)
(9)Spanish fly (Cantharis)
(10)Venom of bushmaster snake
(11)Nosodes made of diseased or pathological products such as faeces, urinary and respiratory discharges ,blood and tissues of patients
(12) Aconite
(13) Dog milk (Lac canidum)

.............and many more such substances. Of course, it is futile to search for any scientific basis behind drug preparation in homeopathy.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

HOW HOMEOPATHY WORKS -II

Alternative explanations for "cures" :

A variety of alternative explanations have been offered for how homeopathy, if the remedies themselves are ineffective, may appear to cure diseases or alleviate symptoms:

  • Unassisted natural healing - time and the body's ability to heal without assistance can eliminate many diseases of their own accord
  • Unrecognized treatments - an unrelated food, exercise, environmental agent or treatment for a different ailment, may have occurred
  • Regression toward the mean - since many diseases or conditions are cyclical, symptoms vary over time and patients tend to seek care when discomfort is greatest, they may feel better anyway but because the timing of the visit to the homeopath they attribute improvement to the remedy taken
  • Nonhomeopathic treatment - patients may also be getting nonhomeopathic care simultaneous with homeopathic treatment, and this is responsible for improvement though a portion or all of the improvement may be attributed to the remedy
  • Cessation of unpleasant treatment - often homeopaths recommend patients stop getting conventional treatment such as surgery or drugs, which can cause unpleasant side effects; improvements are attributed to homeopathy when the actual cause is the cessation of the treatment causing side effects in the first place
  • Lifestyle changes - homeopaths often recommend diet and exercise, as well as limitations in alcohol or coffee consumption and stress reduction, all of which can increase health and decrease symptoms
  • The placebo effect - the intensive consultation process and expectations for the homeopathic preparations can result in the release of endorphins or other body-effecting chemicals which alleviate pain or other symptoms, or otherwise affect an individual's biology
  • Psychological healing - the care, concern and reassurance provided by a homeopath as part of the consultation can assure the patient the symptoms are minor and easily treated, or alleviate tension that could exacerbate a preexisting condition. This can be particularly effective when physicians have limited time with the patient or are unable to provide a diagnosis or treatment.
( source WIKIPEDIA)

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

British Parliamentary Committee Report

MPS URGE GOVERNMENT TO WITHDRAW NHS FUNDING AND MHRA LICENSING OF HOMEOPATHY

In a report published on 22nd February,2010 , the Science and Technology Committee concluded that the NHS should cease funding homeopathy. It also concluded that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) should not allow homeopathic product labels to make medical claims without evidence of efficacy. As they are not medicines, homeopathic products should no longer be licensed by the MHRA.

The Committee carried out an evidence check to test if the Government’s policies on homeopathy were based on sound evidence. The Committee found a mismatch between the evidence and policy. While the Government acknowledges there is no evidence that homeopathy works beyond the placebo effect (where a patient gets better because of their belief in the treatment), it does not intend to change or review its policies on NHS funding of homeopathy.

The Committee concurred with the Government that the evidence base shows that homeopathy is not efficacious (that is, it does not work beyond the placebo effect) and that explanations for why homeopathy would work are scientifically implausible.

The Committee concluded-given that the existing scientific literature showed no good evidence of efficacy-that further clinical trials of homeopathy could not be justified.

In the Committee’s view, homeopathy is a placebo treatment and the Government should have a policy on prescribing placebos. The Government is reluctant to address the appropriateness and ethics of prescribing placebos to patients, which usually relies on some degree of patient deception. Prescribing of placebos is not consistent with informed patient choice-which the Government claims is very important-as it means patients do not have all the information needed to make choice meaningful.

Beyond ethical issues and the integrity of the doctor-patient relationship, prescribing pure placebos is bad medicine. Their effect is unreliable and unpredictable and cannot form the sole basis of any treatment on the NHS.

The report also examines the MHRA licensing regime for homeopathic products. The Committee is particularly concerned over the introduction of the National Rules Scheme (NRS) in 2006, as it allows medical indications on the basis of study reports, literature and homeopathic provings and not on the basis of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) - the normal requirement for medicines that make medical claims.

The MHRA’s user-testing of the label for Arnica Montana 30C-the only product currently licensed under the NRS-was poorly designed, with some parts of the test little more than a superficial comprehension test of the label and other parts actively misleading participants to believe that the product contains an active ingredient.

The product labelling for homeopathic products under all current licensing schemes fails to inform the public that homeopathic products are sugar pills containing no active ingredients. The licensing regimes and deficient labelling lend a spurious medical legitimacy to homeopathic products.

The Chairman of the Committee, Phil Willis MP, said:"It sets an unfortunate precedent for the Department of Health to consider that the existence of a community which believes that homeopathy works is 'evidence' enough to continue spending public money on it. This also sends out a confused message, and has potentially harmful consequences. We await the Government's response to our report with interest.”

When will Indian government wake up to stop the scandal of homeopathy in India??

Friday, 26 February 2010

How does homeopathy "work" ??

Homeopathic propagandists' most common argument in support of their "science" is that it "works".This issue has been dealt in detail in previous posts as to how this dubious system of treatment has survived through centuries.The "test of time" argument -- that the long existence of homeopathy proves its validity is clearly fallacious. Astrology, numerology and palmistry have also survived for centuries. Can we accept those things as scientific or rational?? Longevity can never validate anything on its own. The second argument that homeopathy satisfies patients must be scrutinized more closely.The satisfaction from homeopathy is essentially based on-
(1) Placebo effect- Improvement in patient's condition because he/she expects treatment from a remedy and there is a mental conditioning to it.
(2) "Patient friendly" approach of homeopathic practitioners - asking irrelevant questions just to appease him/her to show how careful the "doctor" is in his prescription.This compensates to certain extent psychological discomforts associated with any ailment.
(3) Aggressive marketing by homeopaths -showing that all conventional drugs have side effects and homeopathy provides 100% risk free solutions.I wonder why these advertisements are not banned in India under Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable) Advertisement Act,1954 passed by Indian Parliament.
(4)Scientific illiteracy among the masses mainly attributed to faulty education system and general illiteracy in a country like India
(5) Malpractice by some allopathic practitioners attributed to falling moral standards-prescribing unnecessary medications and advising unwarranted investigation which sometimes leads to disenchantment with regular system of medicine.

and of course government's support which officially appoints "homeopaths" as doctors in government hospitals forcing people to believe in its efficacy.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Science or Dogma??

There have been responses to the blog indicating that since homeopathy delivers results in some cases,it can't be a fraud.However,I have dealt with this issue in a previous post in detail.Today science has advanced to a stage where the scientific standards have been well established to test the veracity of any claim which comes in the disguise of science.The proposition is simple -either Homeopathy is correct and medicine and all other science is wrong or vice-versa !! There is no theory which would prove both as correct.Let us not mix philosophy with the science and see the facts as they are.That, a country like India openly supports homeopathy only shows the ignorance perniciously influencing the decision making and the politics of homeopathic pharma companies,practitioners and beyond.