My good deed for the day was to complain to Trading Standards about the biggest pharmacy chain in the country selling quack unmedicine.
Simon Perry is spearheading a campaign to target some of the crap Boots is selling with misleading implications about its proven effectiveness as a useful medical cure. He’s laid out each step of the process nice and simply, and is hoping that a group effort to produce a continuous flow of objections will make someone at some regulatory body somewhere sit up and take notice.
We’re focusing on one product at a time, again with the hope of maintaining the effect and having a greater eventual impact.
The following is the text of what I sent today through Consumer Direct:
I’m writing because Boots are currently selling a product called the “Ladycare menopause relief magnet”: http://www.boots.com/en/Ladycare-menopause-relief-magnet_122270/ . It is offered as a treatment for menopause symptoms, and the accompanying description claims that it “has shown to be helpful”. However, I do not think that the evidence supports this claim, and in fact the scientific trials that have been done strongly suggest that magnetic therapies offer no effects beyond those of a placebo in treating these symptoms. (See http://www.futuremedicine.com/doi/pdf/10.2217/whe.09.31 and http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14716179 for examples.)
Under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, the seller is required to provide evidence for claims such as this, and I believe that the Trading Standards body should take a role in preventing misleading claims to medical efficacy being made on such products. Without some sort of regulations being enforced, it can be all to easy for the public to be misled by increasingly dubious and unsubstantiated medical “treatments”, pointlessly costing them money and diverting them from medical interventions that might actually be effective.
Feel free to join in.