Amid the hysteria over Pan Pharmaceuticals, Australians are being warned to avoid taking all herbal and vitamin preparations. Would Australians be warned about avoiding driving all cars after the recall of a Commodore?
Somehow, the spotlight shifted from poor quality control of pharmaceutical preparations to all complementary therapies being discredited.
Complementary therapists have been described as charlatans and their practice labelled unproven.
In contrast, orthodox medicine and prescribed medications are described as scientific. We are told that drugs prescribed by medical practitioners are safe because they have been tested by clinical trials. The reality, however, is that these clinical trials are often funded by pharmaceutical companies – so it is not surprising that a positive spin is often used as evidence to promote a new drug.
To treat the current hysteria, I recommend a cup of tea, a Bex and a good lie down. Sorry, forget the Bex. This drug was discredited in the 1970s after an increase in kidney failure…
First published as a letter to The Age on 2 May 2003