Wednesday, July 18, 2012

There Is Also Big Money in Alternative and Complementary Medicine

Critics of Big Pharma, myself included, complain that they put profits way ahead of people's health, as evidenced by their deceptive marketing.  But they are hardly alone. "Alternative and complementary" medicine is also a big business, and when it comes to putting profits before people, their manufacturers can be even worse.  

According to a German newspaper:

A consortium of pharmaceutical companies in Germany have been paying a journalist €43,000 to run a set of web sites that denigrates an academic who has published research into their products. These companies, who make homeopathic sugar pills, were exposed in the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung in an article, Schmutzige Methoden der sanften Medizin (The Dirty Tricks of Alternative Medicine.) This story has not appeared in the UK media. And it should. Because it is a scandal that directly involves the UK’s most prominent academic in Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

The newspaper accuses the companies of funding the journalist, Claus Fritzsche, to denigrate critics of homeopathy. In particular, the accusation is that Fritzsche wrote about UK academic Professor Edzard Ernst on several web sites and then linked them together in order to raise their Google ranking. Fritzsche continually attacks Ernst of being frivolous, incompetent and partisan. The newspaper said, It is simple to use Google to pillory someone: all it needs is a professional-looking Web page in which a person’s credibility is undermined. Then the name of the person to discredit should be mentioned in the text as often as possible. The page will be automatically ranked in the top results when someone searches for the person.

Homeopathy, as stupid as it is on the face of it, has actually been scientifically debunked.  Thoroughly.  These companies are basically selling water!!

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