The General Medical Council: nice bedside manner with quacks

I have for some time been critical of the GMC’s acquiescence over doctors who practise quackery, but I’m concerned now at how it seems to be getting into bed with them. I just came across an `oncologist and professor of Chinese medicine‘ and phoned the GMC for advice as to whether they would regulate such a person – who is not apparently registered to practise in the UK. It was an odd conversation, which I have followed up with this email to the GMC: Continue reading

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Nonsense Education

For many years I have strongly supported the Advertising Standards Authority. It is staffed by excellent people who know the difference between real medicine and quackery, and between evidence and opinion. When necessary they are not slow to call in expert help, and their decisions are usually robust and evidence-based. Continue reading

A Funny Idea of Ethics – from the clergy

The oldest church here in Salisbury is St Thomas’. The C of E is of course a major landowner, a tradition followed  here, with the church owning the adjacent St Thomas’ House just across the square. I knew that the prestigious (!) Salisbury Homeopathy College ran its events there, and recently learned about a course entitled “Autism Spectrum Disorder and Homeopathy”, conducted by one Mike Andrews who has written a book of the same title. Continue reading

The Charity Commission Consultation

Most readers should be aware that the Charity Commission has issued a consultation on the registration of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) organisations as charities. This was after a five-year battle documented in other posts on this blog. In the interests of transparency I am posting my response here. Continue reading

As usual, quacks are wrong about being told they are wrong

I suppose it would be too much to expect the quacks to interpret correctly the legal framework for advertising. Heaven knows they have scant regard for the truth when plugging their snake oils. So I am going to explain what I have learned about the regulation of advertising, especially why what the quacks say about the Advertising Standards Authority is wrong. Continue reading

“Not my problem mate”

The old Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain laboured for years under a serious conflict of interest. It supported pharmacists in their role as high street shopkeepers (inter alia), and at the same time purported to regulate them as health care professionals.  So it split into two bodies, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and the General Pharmaceutical Council (RPhC). A nice clean break surely? Well no, and here is why. Continue reading

The MHRA – another weak regulator

A great deal of flak has been fired at the pharmaceutical industry in recent years, much of it justified in my view. The AllTrials campaign, while still guilty of the questionable claim that half of clinical trials are unpublished, is basically correct. But I have always said that any business will do whatever it can get away with, so the buck really stops with the regulator. Society is best served by a balance between freedom to innovate and to trade, and limits set by regulation. Continue reading

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