Category: Politics and Regulation

ACA: Six Key Elements of A Modern Chiropractic Practice Act

In February, 2015, the American Chiropractic Association House of Delegates ratified “Six Key Elements of A Modern Chiropractic Practice Act.” For what it’s worth, this means that the “Six Elements” are part of the official “Public Policy” of the ACA. 1. “Chiropractic Physician” and “Chiropractic Medicine” as the Regulatory Terms of Licensure. 2. Scope of Practice Determined by Doctoral and Post-Doctoral Education,...

/ May 14, 2015

Legislative Alchemy: Naturopathic licensing and practice expansion 2015

Naturopathy is chock-full of quackery. No doubt about it. Here at SBM and elsewhere, the seemingly limitless nonsense that can be incorporated into naturopathic practice has been documented time and again: detoxification, food “sensitivities,” anti-vaccination ideology, fake diseases (chronic yeast overgrowth, adrenal fatigue, chronic Lyme disease), bogus tests (also here), homeopathy, chelation therapy, assorted other odd-ball treatments, lack of ethical standards, and...

/ April 30, 2015

Anesthesia-Assisted Rapid Opioid Detox

Opioids are widely available as prescription drugs for pain: hydrocodone (e.g., Vicodin), oxycodone (e.g., OxyContin, Percocet), morphine (e.g., Kadian, Avinza), and codeine. Heroin, which has no medically approved use, is also an opioid. Unfortunately, opioids are also widely abused. How enticing it is to imagine a magic bullet for opioid drug addiction. Addiction causes huge social problems. Yet it is hard to...

/ April 16, 2015

Supplements are the Wild West of health. One Attorney General is out to change that.

Bold moves from the New York State attorney general’s (AG) office are shaking up the supplement industry. In February, the AG accused four retailers (GNC, Target, Walmart, and Walgreens) of selling supplements that failed to contain their labelled ingredients. Using a testing method called “DNA barcoding“, the AG’s office concluded that few of the products it tested actually contained the labelled ingredient,...

/ April 9, 2015

Wikipedia vs Quackery – Standards vs Chaos

Wikipedia, an online open-source encyclopedia, can boast 470 million visitors each month, making it one of the most popular websites on the internet. It is an incredibly useful resource – I think it’s fair to say it is the online reference of record. For that reason people care how topics important to them are represented in Wikipedia. Wikipedia, in fact, has become...

/ April 8, 2015

How should the FDA regulate homeopathic remedies?

The FDA announced recently that it is holding a public hearing on April 21 and 22, to obtain information and comments from stakeholders about the current use of human drug and biological products labeled as homeopathic, as well as the Agency’s regulatory framework for such products. These products include prescription drugs and biological products labeled as homeopathic and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs labeled...

/ April 2, 2015

Should the FDA crack down on homeopathic “remedies”?

In the category of potentially dangerous complementary or alternative medicine, I can think of few products worse than ones claimed to relieve asthma, yet don’t actually contain any medicine. Yet these products exist and are widely sold. Just over a year ago I described what might be the most irresponsible homeopathic treatment ever: A homeopathic asthma spray. If there was ever a...

/ March 26, 2015

Lyme: Two Worlds Compared and Contrasted

The practice of infectious disease (ID) is both easy and difficult. If you read my ID blog on Medscape you are aware of my trials and tribulations in diagnosing and treating infections. ID is easy since, at least in theory, diseases have patterns and an infecting organism has a predictable epidemiology and life cycle. So if you can recognize the pattern and...

/ March 20, 2015

The DC as PCP? Drug Wars Resume

Chiropractors are once again engaged in intra-fraternal warfare over the chiropractic scope of practice, a saga we’ve chronicled before on SBM. (See the references at end of this post.) Every time it looks like the warring factions have buried their differences, they come rising to the surface like zombies. The International Chiropractors Association (ICA), representing the “straight” faction, wants chiropractic to continue...

/ March 19, 2015

A brief bit of shameless self-promotion…The Prince of Wales edition

In an effort to expand the Gorski empire almost to the level of the Crislip empire and to try to make it to somewhere within two or three orders of magnitude of the Novella empire, I’ve published an article on Slate.com about Prince Charles’ visit to our fine country entitled “Prince of Pseudoscience“. Consider this the mandatory shameless self-promotion that all SBM...

/ March 18, 2015