BREAKING NEWS
Source: Thailand Medical News  Nov 04, 2019  3 years ago
Worrisome Trend Of People Moving Towards Alternative Medicine and Homeopathy , US FDA Reacting To Numerous Negative Incidences From Homeopathy
Worrisome Trend Of People Moving Towards Alternative Medicine and Homeopathy , US FDA Reacting To Numerous Negative Incidences From Homeopathy
Source: Thailand Medical News  Nov 04, 2019  3 years ago
There is a growing and dangerous trend of more and more people moving towards unproven and often dangerous alternative medicine platforms such as homeopathy, herbal medicine and also health supplementation to treat their medical conditions and not even consult a proper licensed physician. While the later two are not so bad as long as there is scientific research to back it up and also a physician is involved plus the products are genuine, the first ie homeopathy is really a “snakeoil’ scam that should be banned.


 
There are many reasons for such a worrisome trend such as rising health costs, people scared of toxic effects or side effects from medical procedures such as chemotherapy, a lot of fake news that is being disseminated online especially via facebook groups and certain support groups that prey on people’s fears.
 
While I have to admit that the medical and pharmaceutical world is not without fault and limitations and mistakes, before embarking on any form of alternative medicine, always consult a licensed physician and also check and do your own due diligence online. With a bit of online explorations, one can always access academic research data from reputable medical institutions.
 
There are also certain medical hospitals and clinics that tend to embrace some of these alternative therapies, not because they have been proven or it works but rather these are greedy doctors who under the umbrella of being a holistic center or wellness clinic would also push snakeskin protocols to increase their profitability. Always do your own due diligence before accepting a procedure or treatment protocol.
 
I have said many times, that homeopathy is totally fake and unproven and in some cases, just expensive placebo sugar pills. Having run a holistic center myself 20 years ago in Bangkok, I have seen many charlatans calling themselves homeopathic doctors (many are Indians from India or Hong Kong and also Germans …some well known ‘conman’ characters include a Dr Jay from Hong Kong, a Dr Sam from India etc.) literally rip off clients and unsuspecting patients. Most of these patients are well educated individuals belonging to the higher socio-economic background who are disillusioned with modern medicine and most are parents who do not want their kids to be exposed to toxic drugs but unfortunately many of these same people are being cheated by these homeopathic doctors and in some cases by not consulting a proper doctor, their underlying conditions worsens and sometimes it becomes too late by the time they actually go and see a proper licensed physician as their health condition has already deteriorated.
 
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a statement last week to present two major steps they are taking to protect the public from the potentially harmful effects of products labeled as "homeopathic due to growing usage of homeopathy and the amount of negative incidences that have occurred.
 
According to some estimates, a third&n bsp;of adults and more than 11% of children in the United States are using complementary health approaches and the figure is almost the same for the global markets.
 
In 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed a sample of almost 89,000 adults. They found that over 40,000 of these were taking "nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements," and that over 5,000 were using homeopathic treatments.
 
According to some sources, homeopathy is a US $1.2 billion industry in the U.S. and  US$ 28 billion globally. As more and more people start to purchase these products, the risk of unsafe products reaching consumers is also rising.
 
To prevent this, in 2017, the FDA issued a draft guidance document wherein they explained how they assess the risks of homeopathic products. Now, they have revised this document and are asking the public for feedback and input on the new version.
 
The US FDA are also withdrawing a previous compliance policy guide entitled "Conditions Under Which Homeopathic Drugs May be Marketed" which they issued in 1988, as the policy no longer reflects their current thinking.
 
Dr. Norman E. Sharpless, the acting commissioner of food and drugs, and Dr. Janet Woodcock, the director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, authored the FDA statement that details these two new steps.
 
In their statement, the FDA explain the need for safeguarding the public from the potential risks of homeopathic products.
 
In a phone interview with Thailand Medical News, A US FDA spokesman commented, “Homeopathic drugs are made from a wide range of substances, including ingredients derived from plants, healthy or diseased animal or human sources, minerals and chemicals, including known poisons. These products have the potential to cause significant and even permanent harm if they are poorly manufactured.”
 
The US FDA have now detailed which categories of homeopathic products pose a higher risk to public health, and which particular ingredients and methods of administration are less likely to be safe. They are also planning to give details on "products for vulnerable populations, and products with significant quality issues."
 
The FDA call for the public's help in revising this draft before it is final. In their statement, they say, "We encourage the public to review this revised draft guidance and comment before it is finalized."
 
"We will consider feedback gathered through this new public comment period, the more than 4,500 comments interested stakeholders submitted on the original 2017 draft guidance, and information gleaned from a 2015 public hearing on the current use of homeopathic products. "The final version of the document will "provide transparency regarding the categories of homeopathic drug products that US FDA intend to prioritize."
 
The US FDA have also withdrawn their compliance policy guide (CPG) entitled "Conditions Under Which Homeopathic Drugs May be Marketed."
 
The key reason for this withdrawal is that since issuing the CPG, the FDA have encountered several situations in which homeopathic drugs posed a significant risk to human health even though the products, as labeled, appeared to meet the conditions described in the policy. The FDA write on their website: "CPG 400.400 is inconsistent with our risk based approach to regulatory and enforcement action generally and therefore does not reflect our current thinking. Therefore, it is appropriate to withdraw it."
 
These two steps are part of a larger effort to protect the public from potentially harmful homeopathic products.
 
As part of this effort, the FDA have issued over 10 warning letters to homeopathic drug producers, with recent recipients including Kadesh Inc., U.S. Continental Marketing Inc., Fill It Pack It Inc., and Bershtel Enterprises LLC dba WePackItAll.
 
According to the FDA, these companies have worked together to produce and package homeopathic eye drops in nonsterile conditions, which could cause serious eye infections.
 
The FDA also encourage consumers and healthcare professionals alike to report any adverse health effects or problems with homeopathic products to their MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program.
 
As a parting word, stay away from homeopathy and homeopathic products and also if you come across any foreign “doctors” practicing homeopathy in Thailand, kindly report them to the MOPH or local police.
 

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