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  #161  
Old 23.08.2011, 17:55
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Re: The medical advantages of homeopathy

Damn, I haven't seen the word Placebo covering so much space since the 90's... This thread seems to be infested with fanboys!
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  #162  
Old 23.08.2011, 17:55
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Re: The medical advantages of homeopathy

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He'd let the patient choose.
But...but.....but...
That would unblind it!
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  #163  
Old 23.08.2011, 18:01
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Re: The medical advantages of homeopathy

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So, if you were to design a controlled Phase III clinical trial to test the effectiveness of your placebo, what would you use as a placebo control?
Are we talking about prescribing or testing placebos ? You seem to have shifted the goal posts.
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  #164  
Old 23.08.2011, 18:03
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Re: The medical advantages of homeopathy

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Are we talking about prescribing or testing placebos ? You seem to have shifted the goal posts.
Not at all. It's all about the perceived effectiveness of a placebo ie virtually non-existent.
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  #165  
Old 23.08.2011, 18:13
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Re: The medical advantages of homeopathy

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Are we talking about prescribing or testing placebos ? You seem to have shifted the goal posts.
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  #166  
Old 23.08.2011, 18:18
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Re: The medical advantages of homeopathy

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Definitely. Prescribing the wrong medicine is not the same as prescribing placebo. A placebo is a substance with no known medical effect. What you describe is just poor medical practice.
Tell that to the Doctors who do........

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A study of Danish general practitioners found that 48% had prescribed a placebo at least 10 times in the past year [2002]. The most frequently prescribed placebos were antibiotics for viral infections, and vitamins for fatigue. Specialists and hospital-based physicians reported much lower rates of placebo use. A 2004 study in the British Medical Journal of physicians in Israel found that 60% used placebos in their medical practice, most commonly to "fend off" requests for unjustified medications or to calm a patient.
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A survey in the United States of more than 10,000 physicians came to the result that while 24% of physicians would prescribe a treatment that is a placebo simply because the patient wanted treatment, 58% would not, and for the remaining 18%, it would depend on the circumstances.
Wikipedia

Everytime a patient goes to a Doctor with the common cold or flu and is given antibiotics, that's a placebo as the antibiotics have no effect on viral infections. But patients feel happier being given antibiotics than being told to just go home.

A placebo is NOT a substance with no known medical effect. The quote you used says a placebo is:

Quote:
1. A harmless pill, medicine, or procedure prescribed more for the psychological benefit to the patient than for any physiological effect.
A medicine with no known medical effect......brings us right back to homeopathy.

Last edited by TitanTurbo10; 23.08.2011 at 18:19. Reason: Added source of quotations
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  #167  
Old 23.08.2011, 18:19
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Re: The medical advantages of homeopathy

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Not at all. It's all about the perceived effectiveness of a placebo ie virtually non-existent.
OK, so now we move on from prescribing to perceived effectiveness.

What ever that means Either the patient is cured or isn't. Unless you are talking about non existing symptoms ?

I see now, where this is going, Pharma employees stepping into the ring now because placebos undermine all their R&D and make a mockery of their trials.

The positive results from Placebos are far from non-existent, and are so effective, they threaten the drug companies.

That's where you step in.
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  #168  
Old 23.08.2011, 18:24
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Re: The medical advantages of homeopathy

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I see now, where this is going, Pharma employees stepping into the ring now because placebos undermine all their R&D and make a mockery of their trials.
Oh really, come on now..
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  #169  
Old 23.08.2011, 18:25
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Re: The medical advantages of homeopathy

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Actually, Pharma companies generally manufacture and use their own placebos.
Now why would they do that ???

"Perceived effectiveness ?"

Demand ?

Fraud ?

Back to square one

Honestly, The big pharmas make their own placebos and that's all fine and dandy. Let someone else make their own, and all of a sudden prescribers become fraudsters, dabbling in witchcraft and called charlatans.

So either placebos work, or they don't. Homeopathy as a placebo is less acceptable than a pharma's aspirin placebo ?

Why is that ?
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  #170  
Old 23.08.2011, 18:26
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Re: The medical advantages of homeopathy

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Now why would they do that ???

"Perceived effectiveness ?"

Demand ?

Fraud ?

Back to square one
Sorry, I deleted that post while you were replying to it. Didn't really make sense.
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  #171  
Old 23.08.2011, 18:26
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Re: The medical advantages of homeopathy

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Tell that to the Doctors who do.........
Erm. I do. And specifically have done. On one occasion a Dr offered me antibiotics to treat a viral disease (for my child). I specifically ask her why I needed antibiotics to treat a viral disease. She had the decency to blush, but was unable to come up with a convincing argument...

Regarding Drs giving patients a pill, you see, that's where UTH's argument about giving patients the choice starts to fail. Especially in a model like the NHS, where you have a bunch of numpty patients who won't take no for an answer "because my taxes are paying for the NHS". It is easier for a Dr to prescribe and get the patient out the clinic. It is wrong. But doesn't mean that prescribing homeopathy (fancy placebo if you will) for another disease is right.

Bit of a Straw man argument, don't you see.

Re the definitions, OK, fair point. But in this context we are talking about prescribing something with no - incipients aside - "recognised" active ingredient (i.e. homeopathy). So the definition we are talking about it #2. As I mentioned the antibiotics case is just bad medicine and everyone from Governments to regulatory authorities to Drs associations will agree with that.
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  #172  
Old 23.08.2011, 18:32
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Re: The medical advantages of homeopathy

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Everytime a patient goes to a Doctor with the common cold or flu and is given antibiotics, that's a placebo as the antibiotics have no effect on viral infections. But patients feel happier being given antibiotics than being told to just go home.
Except here, where you can wheel your kid into the pediatrician on a hand truck, with stuff oozing from every orifice, fever, explosive diarrhea, and they will say, "well, give them some Dalfalgan for the next 7 days and if there's no improvement make another appointment."

Now we have a good one who actually tests, and prescribes antibiotics when appropriate. And he doesn't promote Homeopowater. He's a smart doctor.
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  #173  
Old 23.08.2011, 18:34
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Re: The medical advantages of homeopathy

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Erm. I do. And specifically have done. On one occasion a Dr offered me antibiotics to treat a viral disease (for my child). I specifically ask her why I needed antibiotics to treat a viral disease. She had the decency to blush, but was unable to come up with a convincing argument...

Regarding Drs giving patients a pill, you see, that's where UTH's argument about giving patients the choice starts to fail. Especially in a model like the NHS, where you have a bunch of numpty patients who won't take no for an answer "because my taxes are paying for the NHS". It is easier for a Dr to prescribe and get the patient out the clinic. It is wrong. But doesn't mean that prescribing homeopathy (fancy placebo if you will) is right.

Bit of a Straw man argument, don't you see.
I do, too. My doctor knows if he writes a prescription for antibiotics I probably won't use it. I wait for a while to make sure it doesn't go away on it's own. Usually, I'm just going in to make sure it's not strep.
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  #174  
Old 23.08.2011, 18:36
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Re: The medical advantages of homeopathy

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Regarding Drs giving patients a pill, you see, that's where UTH's argument about giving patients the choice starts to fail. Especially in a model like the NHS, where you have a bunch of numpty patients who won't take no for an answer "because my taxes are paying for the NHS". It is easier for a Dr to prescribe and get the patient out the clinic. It is wrong. But doesn't mean that prescribing homeopathy (fancy placebo if you will) is right.

I would argue that if a patient was arguing for, and getting his own way , and if you like , pleased out of the surgery, then that would add to the psychological effect of the placebo in a positive way... Increasing the power of the placebo. A patient, again I would argue, is less likely to come back proclaiming the inefficacy of something he demanded in the first place. It's all in the mind...
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  #175  
Old 23.08.2011, 18:42
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Re: The medical advantages of homeopathy

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I would argue that if a patient was arguing for, and getting his own way , and if you like , pleased out of the surgery, then that would add to the psychological effect of the placebo in a positive way... Increasing the power of the placebo. A patient, again I would argue, is less likely to come back proclaiming the inefficacy of something he demanded in the first place. It's all in the mind...
Of course, you have to factor in the cancer patients who won't come back to complain either... looks like a win-erm...
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  #176  
Old 23.08.2011, 18:45
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Re: The medical advantages of homeopathy

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Of course, you have to factor in the cancer patients who won't come back to complain either... looks like a win-erm...
What Dr prescribes placebo's for cancer ? That's a bit of an extreme and reckless example methinks. If placebos are involved in cancer treatment, it is probably because all else has failed.

To counter my own argument, here is a powerful story from the NYT about placebos and ineffective powerful drugs involved in Cancer treatment.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/19/he...rial.html?_r=1
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  #177  
Old 23.08.2011, 18:47
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Re: The medical advantages of homeopathy

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What Dr prescribes placebo homeopathy for cancer ? That's a bit of an extreme and reckless example methinks. If placebos are involved in cancer treatment, it is probably because all else has failed.
Sorry - what did you say? Absolutely. Couldn't agree more.
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  #178  
Old 23.08.2011, 18:50
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Re: The medical advantages of homeopathy

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Sorry - what did you say? Absolutely. Couldn't agree more.
Nice try. Now lets get back to facts / back on track without distorting/mis-representing my words.

Placebos for Cancer ? That NYT article above is a bit of an eye opener.
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  #179  
Old 23.08.2011, 19:00
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Re: The medical advantages of homeopathy

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Nice try. Now lets get back to facts / back on track without distorting/mis-representing my words.

Placebos for Cancer ? That NYT article above is a bit of an eye opener.
Mate, I despair. I've given up on rational discussion with you on this.

In summary: you are saying patients should be given the choice of which homeopathy is one of the choices. Despite the fact that there is no real evidence of it working beyond single cases of n=1.

Nobody is denying that the placebo effect works. But, it is random, unlike other therapies which have been proven to have specific effects.

That you can't see that selling a placebo as a "cure" does not equate to fraud means we'll never get out of this spiral discussion. As NAT said, this has all been covered before.

In summary, your healthcare model:

Patient ill
Patient goes to "Dr"
"Dr" says would you like drug from nasty nasty pharma company or nice homeopathic medicine that'll make you feel better and has a random chance of working
Patient chooses homeopathy
Patient dies because really what they needed was a treatment rather than something that "made them feel good" and "just might work by placebo effect"

Did I miss anything?
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  #180  
Old 23.08.2011, 19:04
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Re: The medical advantages of homeopathy

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Did I miss anything?
Yes, reality.

I did not make those arguments, you did, (up).

These are my arguments.
  • The importance of patient choice in treatment is well documented in the BMJ.
  • The ultimate choice in treatment lies with the patient.
  • The effect of placebo is well documented and used successfully as a treatment plan. This includes the placebic (??) use of Homeopathy.
  • Placebos are cheap, safe, gentle and effective.
  • Using placebos is not considered fraud.
    Abstract
    While discussions of the ethics of the placebo have usually dealt with their use in a research context, the authors address here the question of the placebo in clinical practice. It is argued, firstly, that the placebo can be an effective treatment. Secondly, it is demonstrated that its use does not always entail deception. Finally guidelines are presented according to which the placebo may be used for clinical purposes. It is suggested that in select cases, use of the placebo may even be morally imperative. The argument is illustrated by three case vignettes.
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