February 29th 2008, 13:13
The news this week that antidepressant drugs are no better than placebo underlines just how drug-dependent conventional medicine has become.
Even though researchers had to use the powers of America's freedom of information legislation in order to see antidepressant drug trials that had never been published, it's hardly been a secret that the drugs don't work too well.
February 22nd 2008, 13:17
Who do our health guardians and regulators care about most? Is it us - as it should be - or is it the drug companies, who invariably sponsor them, or could it be their immediate bosses, the government?
America's health guardian, the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), has been accused by Congress of sitting on research that suggests large swathes of the population living around the Great Lakes suffer more health problems, such as cancer, than the standard population.
February 15th 2008, 16:08
The MMR-autism debate just isn't letting up, especially in the States where a TV drama has this week jettisoned it back onto the front pages.
The programme, Eli Stone, features a lawyer who wins a $1 million lawsuit for a mother whose child became autistic after having the MMR vaccine.
February 8th 2008, 15:25
Forgive the metaphysical tone, but what is Man? It is one of the most fundamental of questions, and its answer would determine many things, not least of which the way we treat disease.
In the West, medicine is based on the standard bio-chemical model, and, with the rise of the specialisms, an increasing focus on the body's individual parts. It has become the dominant approach almost everywhere other than a few pockets of resistance.
February 1st 2008, 15:49
Most diseases have something to do with lifestyle and the environment, but the experts in our community, the doctors, know very little about such things. As they only get about one hour's teaching on nutrition in their five years of medical training, this is probably not so surprising.
So when overweight and obese people come to them for advice, the doctor is instead likely to revert to pill-pushing type and reach for the prescription pad. As a result the anti-obesity drugs orlistat (Xenical) and sibutramine (Reductil) have recently become the most prescribed drugs on the UK's National Health Service, with more than 1 million prescriptions written every year.