Gimpy's GimpyBlog

Protecting The Monopoly of Pharmaceutical Drugs

Back to school

Posted by gimpygimpy on 07/09/2010

It’s open season again in the battle between us sceptics and the evil, evil CAM people, and I must admit we are getting bruised.

Not that we ain’t trying, but with every move we make we seem to be getting our faces knocked in. If you ask me this is a direct result of the childish pranks that the ‘Voice of Young Scientists’ are getting up to these days. Not that I didn’t warn them. ‘Young does not mean childish’, I said, but like the kids they are they just won’t listen. So here they are again pulling the silly 10:23 campaign out of the hat. If it backfired once it’s going to backfire again, I told them. But on they go, and to make things worse they are launching the even more infantile ‘homeopathic vodka’ binge:

A BBC2 programme in support of the 1023 Campaign is to be screened on 14th September: Quote: “As part of a documentary for the BBC, the 10.23 Campaign created a new product – QED homeopathic vodka. Taking great pains to prepare the vodka absolutely correctly, to the most vigorous of standards, we then took to the streets to find out what people thought of this new product and the £40m-a year homeopathic industry.”

They may not get intoxicated from that placebo bunk, but they sure are acting like drunks, so who’s to know the difference?

It gets worse. Now the kids are launching a juvenile protest outside the Department of Health. The Voice of the Very, Very, Very Young Scientists will be offering free diplomas to practise ‘Old Wives Traditional Medicine’… Sigh… what can I say, reminds me of my early high school days.

The thing they don’t get is that the British public are not stupid, and it won’t do to offend British grandmothers if you don’t want your head smacked with an umbrella. Those Brit’s love their underdog; the more they push their immature self indulgent pranks the more support homeopathy is going to get. I guess it’s left to mature people like me to carry on a more serious campaign. Anyway, that’s what mum keeps saying.

And while the kids are playing games we are being punched all over!

Prof. David Colquhoun got the boot from the CNHC Conduct & Competence Committee! Read Here

An academic has been sacked from a committee of the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council …after practitioners drew attention to his outspoken criticism of alternative medicine. David Colquhoun, Honorary Fellow and former chair of pharmacology at University College London, applied to join the “conduct and competence committee” of the CNHC when it was established in 2008 as a self-regulatory body for practitioners of alternative medicine.

Now we all know that David applied for the committee as a publicity gimmick, but there you have it, just another attention-grabber that backfires on the more serious sceptics, like myself. Just look at the embarrassing quote this kind of stunt results in:

(having David in the committee): “…is like asking a racist to be objective about the circumstances of racist crime”.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch… Here is a snippet from a recent and most revealing interview with ‘Prof’ Edzard Erntz, fired head of the Exeter University Complementary medicine dept:

“So is it correct that you did not acquire the additional medical title ‘Homeopath’ but took further medical education courses in homeopathy? If yes, which ones? Ernst: “I never completed any courses.”

In short, it appears that the leading ‘authority’ on homeopathy has no qualifications in homeopathy. Read more here

But perhaps most embarrassing of all are the revelations on Ben Goldacre. Benny has finally been dragged out of the closet. I had to cringe when I read it, a bit close to home, and all I can hope is that this won’t happen to me one day… Lord knows I have connections with some of the very same companies. And just read the comments; they rip poor Ben and our other friends to pieces.

A few choice quotes:

It has been a lamentable feature of Ben Goldacre’s contribution to the public discussion of science in the UK that he has everywhere generated an atmosphere of intolerance in support of his views, and rather than raise the tone of the debate it has encouraged a new kind of scientific infantilism, in which you deride your opponents and defer to authority.

It appears that Ben’s old man was a company boy too:

Goldacre senior was a co-author of a study of the effects of GlaxoSmithKline’s notorious Urabe strain version of MMR, Pluserix, after it was suddenly withdrawn from public use in 1992.

The Goldacre dynasty seems to be one of several with on-going connections and strange family ties with the MMR affair. It read like Who’s who- list of corrupt Pharma ties, including

  • Dr Evan Harris, the former MP…is the son of paediatrician Prof Frank Harris who sat on the Committee on Safety in Medicines and the adverse reactions to vaccine committee
  • Paul Nuki, the Sunday Times features editor, who hired journalist Brian Deer to investigate Andrew Wakefield with the statement “I need something big on MMR” was the son of Prof George Nuki who was on the Committee on Safety in Medicines when MMR…
  • The Davis brothers Sir Crispin and Sir Nigel. Sir Crispin was CEO of Reed Elsevier, publishers of the Lancet… was also a non-executive director of MMR defendants GlaxoSmithKline, and Sir Nigel was the High Court judge who upheld the Legal Services Commission to withhold funding from the MMR case a week later without disclosing a family connection to the case… He neither disclosed his GSK directorship or his brother’s judicial involvement in the case.
  • James Murdoch CEO of News International, publishers of the Sunday Times joined the board of GlaxoSmithKlein…This was immediately followed by renewed “overkill” type attacks in Times newspapers on Andrew Wakefield by Brian Deer and others.

It goes on and on. Most embarrassing is showing Benny boys site for selling ‘anti quack T shirts and mugs’ crap: Vomit here.  Did I say childish? Who is ever going to take someone playing that kind of cheap gimmick seriously???

Like I say, badly bruised this month, and I don’t think the back to school pranks are going to make it any better.

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Posted in 1023, David Colquhoun, Edzard, Evan Harris, gimpyblog, GlaxoSmithKline, Goldacre, Lovely Drugs, Sense about Science, Vaccination | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

It’s raining

Posted by gimpygimpy on 02/08/2010

Well it may be mid-summer, but it feels like rain. Either that or someone is pissing on us from a great big height.

Just read the Government Response to the Science and Technology Committee report ‘Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy’

http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_117810:

I really didn’t want to write about this issue in public, but as you know this blog is where I share my private thoughts. And at the moment they are gray and cloudy. After all that work: The Science and Tech Committee,  the ill-fated 10:23, all our blogging, lobbying,  pushing and ‘convincing’, and now the Government has just kicked us straight down the drain!  Poor Tracy was in tears, and the guys had to order double drinks on the rocks.

I’m quoting a few bits here, just to get it off my chest:

We believe in patients being able to make informed choices about their treatments, and in a clinician being able to prescribe the treatment they feel most appropriate in particular circumstances, within the regulatory and guidance frameworks by which they are bound…

…our continued position on the use of homeopathy within the NHS is that the local NHS and clinicians, rather than Whitehall, are best placed to make decisions on what treatment is appropriate for their patients – including complementary or alternative treatments such as homeopathy – and provide accordingly for those treatments.

How dare they! Who gave clinicians the right to a free choice? That’s what pharmaceutical companies are for! Lord knows we give out enough free pens and trips to the Bahamas. Ungrateful, that’s what I call them. And who gave patients the right to decide?! Since when do they know what’s good for them? I think it is just plain irresponsible to leave people’s health choices to themselves. Just imagine, those little old ladies having to choose all by themselves. Someone has to make decisions for them.

And now the government is going to waste a whole 12 Million pounds out of the NHS overall budget £100 billion. What a disgrace – that money could fund 10 minutes research into the latest cloning techniques. And if we clone you all, you won’t need to decide any more, will you?!

As you can see there was no way I could write about this, so I did a recycle job on the same old tosh. Well, that’s what they pay me for, isn’t it!  However, it’s a bit difficult to knock research when the Government paper says:

…it is therefore vitally important that the scientific evidence base for homeopathy is clearly explained and available.

And recommends: further research cannot be categorically ruled out. If proposals were to come forward which could further clarify the impact of homeopathy, they would be considered in the usual way.

Homeopathy has a long tradition in Europe and is a recognised and widely used system of medicine across the EU. And the EU states : “Whereas, despite considerable differences in the status of alternative medicines in the Member States, patients should be allowed access to the medicinal products of their choice, provided all precautions are taken to ensure the quality and safety of the said products.”

Bloody commies. Makes me ashamed to be working in France. Not that they don’t have 40,000 homeopathic pharmacies there! Merde!

Last and not least:

It is not open to the UK to set aside its obligations in European law to provide regulatory arrangements for homeopathic medicines.

Check mate I guess. Unless we start hassling the whole of Europe.

If things carry on this way the boss is not gonna pay. I can’t just sit here blogging all day for free you know.

Anyway I’m sick of this freedom thing. Time to get out of here! Did anyone say China?

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Silly Season

Posted by gimpygimpy on 11/07/2010

Hey there campers,

I’ve been on holiday so haven’t posted for a while. I’m hoping you’re on holiday too and missing this one, cause my blog is getting to be like Discovery Channel – all re-runs in slow motion. Mummy said I was getting a bit blunt, so she made me bring my spade and bucket to the beach and do some real digging.

Take my last entry for example: ‘Homeopathic Action Trust still funding unethical trials’. Shock, horror indeed! A bit like saying Tesco is still selling Marmite or England can’t play World Cup football. I think it must be Silly Season, and my last blog is certainly full of it.

I started with the old ‘WHO have criticised these activities’, linking to a BBC post from before they made a public apology, admitting that they were ‘hasty and mistaken in posting the article’. WHO would know?

I then go on to say that HAT is now ‘expanding into India’. That’s like saying France can win the World Cup – (Mon Dieu, quelle bouffonnerie). Everyone knows there are already 300,000 homeopaths in India, and that the Indian government supports homeopathy big time. We once tried to stick our foot in there and it got bitten off (A bit like Italy’s World Cup efforts).

I then go on to mention some homeopathic research in Africa. Now we can’t allow that, because there’s no research to back it up. So if there is no research, you can’t do any research, and we can carry on saying there is no research, even though we know there is loads of research. Bit like England, see- they won the Cup in ‘66 and haven’t stopped claiming they can win it since. We call it ‘perpetual farce’ in the industry.

What else could I say against research? Well how about the good old ‘...medical trials on people with an incurable disease who do not have access to appropriate healthcare’. The only thing is, I then stuck foot in gob by quoting: ‘carry out a scientifically verifiable study on the effect of Homeopathy as a treatment for the side effects of the ART’. Well if it’s side effects of ART, then they do have access to treatment. Oops! But who would notice that? Just like Maradona, if you make enough song and dance no one will notice you have no game.

I top it all off by saying that the study appears to be in breach of the ethical requirements for human trials. Well of course I know that these trials can only go ahead with full ethical approval, but you don’t! Just like ‘not sure why we lost’ England manager Capella.

I start the blog by saying ‘As regular readers will know’ haha. All three of them! Me, Warhelmet my faithful puppy, and the mysterious Angus Wood (hehehe!!!!). Good thing the homeopaths themselves have wised up and stopped reading my blog. I’m slip sliding down the Google rating now. So what! I’ll be back and England will win the next World Cup. I’m sure of it!

Thank god I’ve got the doctor’s vote against homeopathy on the NHS to write about next. So exciting! I smell blood and I love it. Watch this space, my two faithful readers.

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Paranoia, Conspiracies and Leaks

Posted by gimpygimpy on 04/06/2010

Those deluded homeopaths are at it again. Now they believe that there is a conspiracy against them, people spying on their schools. What nonsense! If that turns out true I will eat my anorak.

Ha-ha. Another obvious symptom of their collective paranoia. We scan every one of the homeopathic websites, blogs and forums, such as Minutus, on a daily basis and we can find no evidence whatsoever that anyone is monitoring their activities. We don’t discuss them, don’t comment about them, and don’t spend our days and nights planning campaigns to eradicate them in parliament, homeopathic hospitals or Boots. Nor do we don’t try to conceal our identities. See? – it’s just paranoia!

Why should we care? We never even heard of homeopathy until they started attacking our organisations. We are peace loving folks who mind our own business. Who gave homeopaths the right to think anyone is trying to hassle them. No one from the Reiki people, the National Guild of Healers, ghost busters, or even the Church of England has ever accused us of a conspiracy, and they are as airy-fairy  as they get. So why would anyone imagine we concern ourselves with homeopaths. Homeo-who?

And then they claim that we are Phrama funded. Ridiculous! Just because their annual turnover exceeds 1.5 billion euro doesn’t mean they are a threat.

Just to see how objective we are, check out

we don’t take money from Pharma

But what really concerns me is that there may be a mole in one of our secret organisations! This is making me nervous. They are stalking us and we must take preventative counter measures at once.  Maybe some electronic listening devices, some hidden cameras and a crack counter espionage force; I always fancied myself a bit of a Tom Cruise.

Remember kids. Just because you’re paranoid does not mean you are not being followed.

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GGG

Posted by gimpygimpy on 07/05/2010

I have a sneaky feeling that my blog is getting seriously boring. Readership is way down, and the last entry got a miserable two comments, and one doesn’t count cause it’s from Warhelmet, who is a faithful friend, but a bit weak on the EQ  if you know what I mean ( I’ll dedicate a blog to him soon, cause I’m a bit concerned about the old boy).

Really I’m not surprised my blog is drying up. Who’s going to want to read about the Society of Homeopaths’ AGM, honestly? It has all the excitement of a Woman’s Institute meeting in Wales, if you don’t include the sponge cake. No one even goes to bloody AGMs, so who in their right mind would want to read about the SOH financial statement and director turnover. But what to do when ‘the man’ tells me to keep writing?  Got a mortgage to pay, haven’t I?

I tried to spice it up with a tired few comments on homeopaths treating Malaria in Africa, but I don’t think it did the trick somehow. Sure I could have gone to the same old ‘placebo’ or ‘stopping patients from using conventional drugs’ argument, but I thought best leave those points well alone cause  they might be wearing a bit thin. Everyone knows that patients in Africa can choose any Malaria drug they want off the shelf, and godzilla knows Bill Gates makes sure his vaccine industry investments keep rocking and rolling. Of course Africans have a choice between malaria medicines that have long since stopped working  or some fake malaria drugs from India that would really make them sick.

Have a look at this:

More than a third of antimalarial drugs sold in Africa have failed quality tests, research shows.

The study of drugs bought in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda shows that 35 per cent contained too little active ingredient or failed to dissolve, rendering them ineffective. Another third of treatments also belonged to a class of drugs that the World Health Organisation (WHO) wants to be banned because they can cause the malaria parasite to develop resistance.

(But you won’t catch me saying anything about that, cause it not my jobs-worth, GG)

The findings suggest that hundreds of thousands of lives are being put at risk and indicate that drug counterfeiting is to blame. Researchers fear this is spreading to Africa from South-East Asia, where up to 50 per cent of anti-malarial drugs are fake. Malaria kills up to 2.7million people each year, chiefly in Africa, and counterfeit and sub-standard drugs may account for at least 200,000 deaths.

(But you won’t catch me saying anything about that, cause it not my jobs-worth, GG)

A third of the drugs bought as part of the study were artemisinin monotherapies of a sort that the WHO wants banned in favour of combination treatments. It is feared that the parasite Plasmodium falciparum may become immune to artemisinin in isolation, as it has to older drugs such as chloroquine.

(But you won’t catch me saying anything about that, cause it not my jobs-worth, GG)

Only 200,000 a year dying from Malaria drugs and the rest ineffective and developing resistant malaria.  Not that bad really, not worth a blog from me, haha. Better concentrate on the CAM people, if I could only find just one case that died from their mumbo mojo I could write such a riveting blog. Nothing so far, but I wait…

Anyway homeopaths use Quinine in potency most of the time, just the same we used to before we burnt that option out by giving massive overdoses for 200 years.  And now we have to find a new drug every two years, but that’s the good part, cause it keeps the industry turning over, what-what!

I really hope something interesting pops up soon before I lose my whole readership. I heard a rumour that some CAM people are starting a counter skeptic campaign called GGG; ‘Give a Geek a Girlfriend’. Naturally I was a bit offended at first, but then I thought, hey, thats like me, GG!  There might be something in it for me, you never know.

Like they say: All blog and no play make Jack a dull research scientist.

Posted in Bill Gates, gimpyblog, Lovely Drugs, Malaria, Society of Homeopaths, Vaccination | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Down and out in Paris and London

Posted by gimpygimpy on 16/04/2010

I’ve been quiet for a while, sorry. I’ve been pretty down – It just seems that there is nothing much to say, things are crumbling.

Our campaign against CAM is floundering. The more we attack, the more it seems to thrive. It appears that after every attack we launch on the homeopaths more people buy those bloody remedies. Homeopathy is thriving again. My guess is that everyone is bored with our antics. Personally I think it all started after that dumb 10:23 campaign. I never liked it in the first place. Worse still over 60 MP’s have now signed on the EDM supporting homeopathy. I guess that’s what they call backlash

http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=40517&SESSION=903

All in all this month has gone badly. It started with Edzard Ernst being given the boot by Exeter University. I guess even his sponsors realised he has passed his sell by date. Then poor old Simon Singh had to resign from his post at the Guardian amid much collective sobbing from his fan club.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/mar/12/simon-singh-goodbye-libel-reform

Simple Simon says: The problem is that I have spent the past two years being sued for libel, which has taken up huge amounts of time. And now all my remaining spare time is being devoted to campaigning for libel reform. The crippling and prohibitive financial cost of defending a libel case is often highlighted, but the equally terrible cost in terms of time and stress is rarely mentioned.

Singh later won his appeal on April fool’s day, but as the poor fellow constantly reminds us in his whimpering, he lost 200,000 pounds. Ouch, I bet that hurt! And those chiropractors know their business, they aren’t going to let go. They spend six years studying how to crack people’s bones and deal with law suits, so I suppose they ‘adjusted’ his bank balance.

Another surprise was Randi coming out of the closet – what a trick from the master magician. Naturally I support him being gay, so no problem of course. But imagine suppressing your sexuality till the age of 81. I mean what would that do to your mind –  fry it, I suppose. Maybe it is difficult for him to deal with his truth. Once a trickster always a trickster.

http://www.metroweekly.com/news/last_word/2010/03/the-amazing-randi-is-gay-debun.html

Talking of identities being revealed, another one that had to come out of the closet recently was my old mate Crack of Bent, who got exposed through a gaffe on map, and had to come clean for all to see. Embarrassing, restricting and a source for a lot of trouble

I’ll be totally honest here (not my usual style I know). I am terrified of being exposed like Randi and Allen. I’ve done my very best to hide my identity, but there are signs of some people doing very serious diggings. I really don’t want my sources, connections and sponsors out of the closet, and most of all I don’t want my employers to know about my nocturnal activities.  I guess my brain will have to fry too – losing a lot of sleep lately.

Posted in Edzard, gimpyblog, Rezearch, Sense about Science | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

From Wurst to Burst

Posted by gimpygimpy on 08/03/2010

This has been a bad week. Haggis on my wee face  as they say in Scotland.

Not only have 44 MP’s now put their name to the EDM supporting homeopathy

http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=40517&SESSION=903

And not only have 2700 people signed the petition supporting homeopathy

http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/Homeopathy1/

But now the primary evidence debunking  the Autism – Vaccination link has been found to be a major hoax in the best tradition of Pharma funded research (And, don’t I know how that works, cause hey! I’m both a researcher and Phrama funded. Coincidence? Synchronicity?)

Read it here:

A Danish scientist who was a key researcher in two studies that purport to show that mercury used in vaccines and the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine do not cause autism is believed to have used forged documents to steal $2 million from Aarhus University in Denmark according to reports in the Copenenhagen Post Online and a statement from Aarhus University.

Poul Thorsen, MD PhD, headed up a research unit at Aarhus University that was hired by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prepare a series of studies that would exonerate thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative and adjuvant used in vaccines, and the MMR vaccine from any role in causing autism. The veracity of the three studies he co-authored is now in doubt.

These studies formed the foundation for the conclusions of several Institute of Medicine reports that claimed that it was highly unlikely that thimerosal or MMR were implicated in autism.

Autism advocacy groups have published extensive analyses on Thorsen’s studies and found many problems in methods, assumptions and conclusions that are supported by the data. And Thorsen is the lynchpin in the series of studies used to dismiss concerns about thimerosal and MMR causing autism.


But the final pie is that our own linchpin and role model professor Edzard Ernst is about to find himself on the dole!

The University of Exeter unit, headed by Edzard Ernst, Britain’s first Professor of Complementary Medicine, could shut next year unless new finance can be found.

Read about it here:

Now why would the ‘Company’ stop funding dear Izzy? Maybe because our campaign is going pear shaped?  Makes me  really nervous!

Anyways, lucky we have some friends in the right places. A bit of puff and a bit of spin, blame prince Charles and a touch of Pharma wand (all the usual stuff), and Izzy will be right back where we need him. Good old Sarah Boseley from the Guardian got on the case, and presto, the tables are turning. Sarah has been a good friend in the past, with nice little articles like ‘Simon Singh and the silencing of the scientists’, ‘Stop homeopathy funding, says Commons committee’ ‘The drug industry needs Capitol Hill on its side’ and of surprise, surprise   ‘Lancet retracts ‘utterly false’ MMR paper’

You can read Sarah wrapping Ernie in candy floss in the Guardian ‘life and style’, just beside a similarly flavored article on  ‘how to cook the perfect sausage’ Check it out here:

But even I got a bit of a chill down my spine when I saw his pic. Brrrr. A bit Dr. No, no?  I shudder to think how those CAM sheep feel when Edzard the wolf  launches into them.

Quote from the Article:

Homeopaths and their friends at Buckingham Palace must be rubbing their hands. The scourge of complementary medicine, Professor Edzard Ernst, may be facing the closure of his unit at the Peninsula medical school in Exeter. While there is plenty of money in alternative therapies, the funding to allow Ernst to test them scientifically is running out.

Haha! Plenty of money in alternative medicine -even I had to laugh at that one -nice touch!

Anyway, thanks again Sarah! A friend in need indeed. Hmmm. I wonder If Sarah will be publishing something on good old Poul Thorsen from Denmark and his bunked vaccination research. Halloo- I don’t think so!!  Just check out this fine example of Sarah spin on AIDS vaccination. Yes minister would be proud:

The world’s first attempted Aids vaccine proved a failure yesterday when, after four years’ work, the Californian biotech company VaxGen announced that trial results showed that it did not protect those at risk of HIV infection.

But…

All credit must go to VaxGen for pushing ahead with its vaccine trials, which are a lengthy and very expensive business.

And

Is the news from VaxGen completely disastrous? No. First, any mass trial produces data that will be useful for future attempts, and VaxGen has said it intends to carry on with the work on the vaccine

I wonder if Sarah would have the same very lenient attitude to homeopathic research. Noooo, cause homeopathy’s got nothing in it, and vaccinations have mercury, see! That’s science!

Isn’t it amazing how a paper like the Guardian got so left-wing it turned into Panzer Division? All Yin and Yang hey! Reminds me a bit of good old days at the LM and Spiked Magazines– Marxist to Stalinist in one quick flip.

Posted in gimpyblog, Lovely Drugs, Rezearch, Sense about Science, Vaccination | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

From bad to worse

Posted by gimpygimpy on 03/03/2010

I’ve really had a bad week! There are now 30 MP’s signed up on that EDM. This is backfiring badly. And if homeopaths carry on writing to their MPs there will probably be more. Lucky most of them are lazy twerps who wouldn’t pick up a pen to save their ass.

Here is what the EDM says:

That this House expresses concern at the conclusions of the Science and Technology Committee’s Report, Evidence Check on Homeopathy; notes that the Committee took only oral evidence from a limited number of witnesses, including known critics of homeopathy Tracy Brown, the Managing Director of Sense About Science, and journalist Dr Ben Goldacre, who have no expertise in the subject; believes that evidence should have been heard from primary care trusts that commission homeopathy, doctors who use it in a primary care setting, and other relevant organisations, such as the Society of Homeopaths, to provide balance; observes that the Committee did not consider evidence from abroad from countries such as France and Germany, where provision of homeopathy is far more widespread than in the UK, or from India, where it is part of the health service; regrets that the Committee ignored the 74 randomised controlled trials comparing homeopathy with placebo, of which 63 showed homeopathic treatments were effective, and that the Committee recommends no further research.

Irritating!!!

Then this whoever it is on The Voice of Not So Young Homoeopathy (What’s that mean, that they are older and wiser then us?!), goes and proves that only 3 MPS voted for the recommendation against homeopathy on the NHS, and most of them were only half there!

Here what the not so old says:

So let’s get this straight – the report and its recommendations that led to the media snow this week, and the dramatic assertion that the public have been duped since 1948 by NHS placebos masquerading as medicine, is the result of a report ratified by THREE MPs: TWO of whom were NOT EVEN PRESENT AT THE COMMITTEE MEETINGS – and ONE of the two was NOT EVEN A MEMBER OF THE COMMITTEE when the hearings were held, and is due to stand down at the election in May this year.

Shit, Shit, shit. I was really hoping no one would notice that! So now it’s 3 against 30. Lucky we have the media eating out of our hands. Nothing like a bit of spin, eh, Tony?

You can read the whole bloody thing here. I did, and I didn’t enjoy it, so I had to respond somehow. Couldn’t think of much to say, so I just went for the good old ‘Homeopaths are paranoid’ bit. Only thing is, I’m using it a bit too much lately. And as we all know, just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean you’re not being hacked. Well I know that!

Silly of me to knock Carol Boyce for lobbying her MP, should have checked on that earlier. Anyways, lobbying MP’s is a privilege of the privileged, so leave it to us. What right do you have to lobby, were the experts, so back off!

And to top it all up, me old mate Ben Goldacre goes and writes an article biting off the hand that feeds us! I couldn’t believe it when I read, quote:

Homeopathy doesn’t work. But are the claims for other medicines any better?

Drug ads that don’t back up their claims show how dumb doctors can be about evidence and how lax regulation has become

Talking about Drug research and related advertising in medical journals (such as our Darling Lancet), Ben says:

The results were abysmal. Only half of the claims in the adverts were supported by the specific trials referenced and, of all the trials, only 55% got a score of “high quality”. Overall, only 39.2% of these adverts referenced a high-quality trial which supported their claim. This is not the first time such a study has been conducted. Villanueva and colleagues, in 2003, published a paper in the Lancet assessing claims for cardiac medication adverts in six Spanish medical journals: of the 102 references they could trace, 44% did not support the promotional statement. Similar results have been found in psychiatric drug adverts, and in the field of rheumatology. To offset any suggestion that I am cherry-picking, a review in the Public Library of Science’s open access journal PLoS One found 24 similar studies, and overall only 67% of the claims in adverts were supported by a systematic review, a meta-analysis or a randomised control trial. And he concludes: But it is only the most obvious illustration of the fearsome depths into which these problems extend. We are in very big trouble.

What’s the world coming to? Pass those pink pills, please.

P.S. I was on the verge of getting depressed, but one naïve homeopath made my day and commented on that Homeopathy cancer research  on my blog. Of course we all had a little fun with that. Pity all the other wised up and moved out. Come on boys, keep helping my rating!

Posted in gimpyblog, Lovely Drugs, Sense about Science | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

My Diary

Posted by gimpygimpy on 28/02/2010

Hey! Nothing much to write about so I thought I’d share my diary with you.

Mon 22nd Feb

Yay! Good old Evan Harris MP! What a report and what a set up! There must be a God! Oh well there isn’t of course but you know what I mean. How did he get 3 others to sign that report!!! I can’t wait until he tells me. Buy that man a beer! Remember that ole Kelly Marie song ‘My head is in a spin my feet don’t touch the ground’, that’s how I feel right now. All those homeopathic groups thinking that their evidence would be read- I could almost die laughing. Welcome to the new sceptic democracy where sceptics get what they want and when they want! We understand everything, we are invincible. I hugged my computer so hard I could feel its chip humming. Mmmm….

Tues 23rd

I woke up singing with the joie de vivre: ‘Woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head’….. Hmm… not sure,. Paul McCartney uses homeopathy so I’d better go back to Kelly Marie, I’ll take a chance that she’s not a user. I am still so happy that I’ve been jumping up and down on the bed (Even though Mummy told me not to).

Went off to work at the GM laboratory where I’m currently cloning a prawn with a turnip. Darwin knows why, but it is bloody clever and I would like to see some CAM stupido doing it. Ha-ha those homeopaths might be applying for a job at my lab soon. I would get them to kneel down denounce Hahnemann and beg allegiance to scepticism. Then I would whip them hard until it really hurt! That would make me happy!

I thought life couldn’t get any better when an alert came up from my searches. That Tory bastard Tredinnick! He has put in an Early Day Motion. Merde! He already has 4 signatories that’s as many as the bloody report had. I will harass him, I will destroy him, I will exterminate him, exterminate him, exterminate him. He will not get away with this. No more votes for anyone who isn’t a member of Sense about Science! I want my own way. I always get my own way. It always worked with Mummy. AARRRHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Wed 24th

Doctor gave me an anti depressive. I know they don’t work, but it helps if you believe. Still a bit weepy. I’m just so sorry for poor Evan as his game will soon be up. He is such a nice man, he only wants to create a nice utopia run by scientists as the new master race. S’not fair. I spent all day sobbing into my pillow.

Thurs 25th

Quite philosophical today, almost too chilled out. Those pink tablets really work, I’m sure they do, I believe in them. I mean the report will be dismissed but we can plan other things and Evan could even get re-elected. This report will soon be forgotten like the 10:23 fiasco, so it’s not the end. They may not even get any more than 4 signatories on the EDM. I mean that was the day when 200 homeopaths lobbied parliament so maybe no more will sign it. I feel quite relaxed about it now. I will just check to see if any more MPs have signed it- well maybe one other twit will!

What? 21 have signed it now! stupid democracy! Revolution! Revolution! Guy Fawkes is my Hero now- He might have been a Catholic but I don’t care. Blow the bloody place up. Kill, kill, kill. This could backfire on us and lead to the homeopathy budget increasing 10 fold from 0.004% to 0.04% of the total budget. The injustice! For what! For how many? For just 6 million that’s all. There are hundreds of sceptics- I mean 300 turned up for 10:23. Each sceptic is worth at least 1000000 bloody homeopathic whatsits. So that makes…. Er where’s my computer…well anyway it means that there are really more sceptics than homeopaths! So there’s the evidence! Where’s my sedative. There it is. Phew! Why wont people accept us as the intelligentsia that should be running the country? We mean no harm- well only to homeopaths and acupuncturists and chiros, herablists, magical thinkers, religious groups and any one who criticises scientists or stands in our way. Shiesse- I do think that we are going to have to build a lot of gulags.

Sat Feb 28

Oh No!!! I just read that a declaration in support of homeopathy was presented to the Prime Minister by a large crowd of homeopathy supporters. The signatures on it numbered over 28,000! Backfired again!

Humming ‘Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away’… Oh no McCartney again!

The man from the ‘Company’ called. I didn’t answer, but he didn’t sound too happy on the answer machine. Errrrk…Where are those pink pills?

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Oh Happy days

Posted by gimpygimpy on 23/02/2010

Ach this is a happy day for all, ja!

The committee for science and Tech has squashed the homeopaths! If has punched them in the vitalist organs. That is eine joke, ja!

Not sure why I have this German accent coming into my head today. Strange. It’s just that I get so excited  because we have made a big step towards exterminating the homeopaths.  Alzo I feel a certain thrill deep inside, ja!

We got a huge media response!  Everyone is publishing us while  their cancer research will vanish into oblivion just like the Cuban one did. No medical journal will publish those while we have a say! It is good to have control. Ja? Ja!

True that I have chosen to ignore the following sentence from the report

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.

Never mind, nothing is perfect. We have taken homeopathy away from those with no means, now it is only for those with money to spare (And who has money to spare in the old UK, ja!) But we cannot rest here. We must plan out campaign carefully. Vot I propose to is that we organize a mass burning of homeopathic books in every town square next to Boots. Then we break the boots windows, lots of glass, ja!  That will only be the start. We have the means and we have the technology to exterminate the rest of the résistance. Homeopaths should literally be round up and put away, maybe in special camps. We cannot rest until we have come to a final solution to this problem. Yes I know there are many, many people who use homeopathy, but why should that stop us, it never stopped us before. These people do not know what they are doing, they are stupid ignorant animals and they should not be given the freedom to choose.

The good thing is we have saved a grand total of 9 million pounds, 0,0001% of the NHS budget, so they can now use the money to sponsor more research on drugs like these:

http://www.theday.com/article/20100115/NWS01/100119833/1047

Dr. Scott S. Reuben, a former member of Pfizer Inc.’s speakers’ bureau accused last year of perpetrating one of the biggest research frauds in medical history, was charged today in a federal court in Boston with falsifying medical research studies.

Reuben, formerly chief of acute pain at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Mass., faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz accused Reuben of accepting a $75,000 grant from Pfizer to research the effectiveness of pain medication Celebrex for a 2005 study in which no patients were actually enrolled. Prosecutors allege that Reuben made up the data, which he subsequently published in the medical journal “Anesthesia & Analgesia.”

The data supported the conclusion that Celebrex was effective in helping post-operative patients who had received a particular type of knee surgery on the anterior cruciate ligament. “Anesthesia & Analgesia” later had to retract 10 papers written by Reuben, and medical experts at the time said at least 21 journal articles by the anesthesiologist appeared to be fabricated.

Reuben’s studies had been considered pioneering at the time they were published. His data had supported the use of two of Pfizer’s major products — Celebrex and Lyrica — in combination to treat certain types of post-operative pain.

Pfizer said it had supported five of Reuben’s research initiatives. Pfizer, which declined at the time to reveal how much it paid Reuben over the years to be part of its speakers’ bureau, said the company played no part in the fraud.

Last March, Reuben was dismissed from his position at Baystate Medical Center after an audit revealed he had been inventing data for as many as 13 years.

Like I said, it is good to have control! Ja vohl.

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