UK doctors prescribing....placebo's

manwithnoname
manwithnoname Member Posts: 402
edited March 2013 in Colorectal Cancer #1

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21834440

 

"In a poll, 97% of 783 GPs admitted that they had recommended a sugar pill or a treatment with no established efficacy for the ailment their patient came in with."

 

 

"Almost all of the GPs said they had provided patients with treatments, like supplements, probiotics and complementary medicines, that were unproven for their medical condition. Three-quarters said they offered unproven treatments on a daily or weekly basis."

 

 

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Comments

  • wolfen
    wolfen Member Posts: 1,324
    Tony

    My first thought when I read this was that it sort of makes you feel like a "testing gound" without your permission. Most doctors I have personally seen seem to have endless little packets of some "new" medicine or other. I realize that somebody has to test stuff, but I don't think this is the safe way to do it.

    Luv,

    Wolfen

  • steved
    steved Member Posts: 834
    Not new medicines

    Thmidis simply gps recommending unproven other counter remedies like probiotics and complementary medicines for which there may be insufficient evidence to be confident they work in conditions that patients present with. For example patients with diarrhoea illnesses are often recommended probiotics even thought the evidence is not yet conclusive of an effect or herbal remedies for minor ailments for which we have littélysées to offer eg pmt, tiredness, chronic aches and pains etc.

    It is not giving new medicines that aren't yettested as a way of testing them!

    Steve

  • manwithnoname
    manwithnoname Member Posts: 402
    steved said:

    Not new medicines

    Thmidis simply gps recommending unproven other counter remedies like probiotics and complementary medicines for which there may be insufficient evidence to be confident they work in conditions that patients present with. For example patients with diarrhoea illnesses are often recommended probiotics even thought the evidence is not yet conclusive of an effect or herbal remedies for minor ailments for which we have littélysées to offer eg pmt, tiredness, chronic aches and pains etc.

    It is not giving new medicines that aren't yettested as a way of testing them!

    Steve

    Of course

    they are giving stuff they believe has value to patients who want something...

    However there is a difference between giving a saltwater injection or sugar pill (direct placebo's) or probiotic's or herbal remedies which may be a placebo or which might actually have a biologic effect.

    Im just pleased they aren't saying 'sorry there is nothing I can give you that is proven to work.....next!'

    LOL salt water has been censored...wonder why.

  • coloCan
    coloCan Member Posts: 1,944 Member

    Of course

    they are giving stuff they believe has value to patients who want something...

    However there is a difference between giving a saltwater injection or sugar pill (direct placebo's) or probiotic's or herbal remedies which may be a placebo or which might actually have a biologic effect.

    Im just pleased they aren't saying 'sorry there is nothing I can give you that is proven to work.....next!'

    LOL salt water has been censored...wonder why.

    put one and one

    together........censored!!!!! (same reason i can't cite anything from the site marketwatch)

  • manwithnoname
    manwithnoname Member Posts: 402
    coloCan said:

    put one and one

    together........censored!!!!! (same reason i can't cite anything from the site marketwatch)

    Funny

    I thought that swear word was only used in the UK. Live and learn.

    And Wolfen your right, they are experimenting on us.

  • annalexandria
    annalexandria Member Posts: 2,571
    My favorite science magazine is out of the UK...

    The New Scientist.   It had an article a while back about the placebo effect that I found interesting...

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17993-placebo-effect-caught-in-the-act-in-spinal-nerves.html

  • coloCan
    coloCan Member Posts: 1,944 Member

    Funny

    I thought that swear word was only used in the UK. Live and learn.

    And Wolfen your right, they are experimenting on us.

    biggest and deadliest experiment foisted on Americans

    is genetically modified foods.....EDUCATE YOURSELVES!!!!!!!!

    A recent-yesterday-report came out lauding soy for CRC,liver and another cancer yet most soy produced in US is GMOed.....Did researchers take that into account? What type of soy was used? Does it matter?

  • thxmiker
    thxmiker Member Posts: 1,278
    coloCan said:

    biggest and deadliest experiment foisted on Americans

    is genetically modified foods.....EDUCATE YOURSELVES!!!!!!!!

    A recent-yesterday-report came out lauding soy for CRC,liver and another cancer yet most soy produced in US is GMOed.....Did researchers take that into account? What type of soy was used? Does it matter?

    When Docotors or

    When Docotors or nutritionists talk about soy, they are talking about Edamame or Real Tofu.  We can get both in the USA but one has to read the labels. Real Tofu is not what most Tofu is in the USA.

     

    We have Soy derivatives in a lot of our food.  Soy MSG, Lecithin, fat, oil, Natural Flavor, etc...   There are over 60 names for Soy additives in the USA.   My wife is very allergic to soy.  We can not buy prepackaged food in the USA because most of it has soy in it. We can not buy a seasoned meat, ham, lunch meat because most have soy in them. If we can read the package then we can decide.  Many companies are now adding soy to Milk, and Butter!  We have to read all packages or she gets sick.

     

    Many people have a toxcity to Soy. It is in everything they eat and they have reached their limit. My indigestion went away after avoiding all soy. I thought it was due to the cancer and chemo, nope Soy.

     

    A great Blog and Book:  The Hidden Dangers of Soy    - She explains her allergy to soy and then many other's issues with soy.  How to avoid Soy, and which companies to write to to stop Soy in all of our foods!

    Best Always,  mike 

  • thxmiker
    thxmiker Member Posts: 1,278
    Unproven to Western Science,

    Unproven to Western Science, or to the World?  Japan and China have many good studies from relevant hospitals and Universities that show good nutrition and adding certain supplements add efficacy to Chemo.  UK Docs are allowed to tell their patients of such supplements with out being sued.

     

    My GP tells me to addd certain supplements as long as we are off the record. I also have a Doc friend that sugests supplements for me to try.  HE teels me worse case you added a new herb to your food and diet.

     

    Best Always,  mike

  • Trubrit
    Trubrit Member Posts: 5,643 Member
    thxmiker said:

    When Docotors or

    When Docotors or nutritionists talk about soy, they are talking about Edamame or Real Tofu.  We can get both in the USA but one has to read the labels. Real Tofu is not what most Tofu is in the USA.

     

    We have Soy derivatives in a lot of our food.  Soy MSG, Lecithin, fat, oil, Natural Flavor, etc...   There are over 60 names for Soy additives in the USA.   My wife is very allergic to soy.  We can not buy prepackaged food in the USA because most of it has soy in it. We can not buy a seasoned meat, ham, lunch meat because most have soy in them. If we can read the package then we can decide.  Many companies are now adding soy to Milk, and Butter!  We have to read all packages or she gets sick.

     

    Many people have a toxcity to Soy. It is in everything they eat and they have reached their limit. My indigestion went away after avoiding all soy. I thought it was due to the cancer and chemo, nope Soy.

     

    A great Blog and Book:  The Hidden Dangers of Soy    - She explains her allergy to soy and then many other's issues with soy.  How to avoid Soy, and which companies to write to to stop Soy in all of our foods!

    Best Always,  mike 

    I read an EXCELLENT book about the dangers of SOY and how a high percentage of it was GM (genetically modified). I got it from the library over a year ago and now I can't remember the name of the book. It also talked allot about the big companies who and the FDA who have their hands in the pockets of these large companies. Must try to remember the name of the book. 

    Here in the states they don't require cmpanies to mark their lables GM. same with the anitbiotics in milk. I like that about England and Europe, their labeling is much more comsumer friendly.

    I eat as much organic as I can. My friends are quick to point out that I'm the one with cancer so they question organic foods. 

    Just my rambling here. Probably not adding much to the thread, but its keeping my mind busy as I await the home health nurse to come and disconnect me from my pump. 

     

  • dmj101
    dmj101 Member Posts: 527
    The sky is falling...

    Nothing like posting an allarming statement...

    Important fact that all should be aware of (a fact I was unaware of till I went to work in this industry).... NO patient in any clinical study or trial is never not treated or actually given a placebo... they will always recieve the current standard of care as a bare minimum... and if the patient slips they will be refered back to their dr or taken off the study... and usually recieve care thru the drs in the study.

    Please be careful when you read a post such as this and can be mislead...

    Supplements if a valid approved treatment can be offered and even part of a trial or study but be aware, they are rarely ever offered on their own.. and anyone who takes a supplement without doing their own due diligence research.. shame on them....

    I am not brainwashed by my job.. I personally would never participate in a study unless I had no alternatives but I have felt this way always... I did not seek to work in this industry I am an HR person not a clinician but you can't help but absorb some of the details of what your company does by working with others there.. I have resources there to find out facts and details that others may not so I am very lucky and very appreciative.. God sent me to this job.

    Knowledge is POWER... please use your best judgment and when in doubt ask...

    -Donna

     

  • manwithnoname
    manwithnoname Member Posts: 402
    dmj101 said:

    The sky is falling...

    Nothing like posting an allarming statement...

    Important fact that all should be aware of (a fact I was unaware of till I went to work in this industry).... NO patient in any clinical study or trial is never not treated or actually given a placebo... they will always recieve the current standard of care as a bare minimum... and if the patient slips they will be refered back to their dr or taken off the study... and usually recieve care thru the drs in the study.

    Please be careful when you read a post such as this and can be mislead...

    Supplements if a valid approved treatment can be offered and even part of a trial or study but be aware, they are rarely ever offered on their own.. and anyone who takes a supplement without doing their own due diligence research.. shame on them....

    I am not brainwashed by my job.. I personally would never participate in a study unless I had no alternatives but I have felt this way always... I did not seek to work in this industry I am an HR person not a clinician but you can't help but absorb some of the details of what your company does by working with others there.. I have resources there to find out facts and details that others may not so I am very lucky and very appreciative.. God sent me to this job.

    Knowledge is POWER... please use your best judgment and when in doubt ask...

    -Donna

     

    Donna

    This is about familiy doctors giving placebos not people on clinical trials, but your perspective on trials and placebo is interesting, I was sure they did placebo sometimes.

  • tanstaafl
    tanstaafl Member Posts: 1,300 Member
    NDA

    I am glad that the doctors are paying attention to the off label uses and complementary medicine.  Calling things a placebo for uses that are not yet formally demonstrated to the level of an FDA New Drug Application, ie. "proven" (not really) or the UK equivalent, is greatly mistaken.

  • wolfen
    wolfen Member Posts: 1,324

    Donna

    This is about familiy doctors giving placebos not people on clinical trials, but your perspective on trials and placebo is interesting, I was sure they did placebo sometimes.

    I Am Less Than Perfect

    I am the first to admit it. I smoke and have done so for 47 years. Each doctor that I have visited over the years has asked me if I would like to quit. At this time(may someday change), my answer is no.

    This may be irrelevant but a long time before any of us heard the name "Chantix", a doctor gave me some samples he had just received from the departing pharmacy representative(the guy you always see in the waiting area with the big black case). He told me these would help me stop smoking. I didn't take the pills. In this particular case, I doubt he knew much more about them than I did, including the side effects which would become evident with further testing.  I personally would not want to take a pill that could cause heart trouble, suicidal tendencies, nausea, etc. unless it was absolutely necessary.

    So, I guess I'm a little leery of these samples.

    And Donna, I am now confused, also. Every new drug trial that I've seen has mentioned a percentage of patients receiving a placebo.

    Luv,

    Wolfen

  • manwithnoname
    manwithnoname Member Posts: 402
    wolfen said:

    I Am Less Than Perfect

    I am the first to admit it. I smoke and have done so for 47 years. Each doctor that I have visited over the years has asked me if I would like to quit. At this time(may someday change), my answer is no.

    This may be irrelevant but a long time before any of us heard the name "Chantix", a doctor gave me some samples he had just received from the departing pharmacy representative(the guy you always see in the waiting area with the big black case). He told me these would help me stop smoking. I didn't take the pills. In this particular case, I doubt he knew much more about them than I did, including the side effects which would become evident with further testing.  I personally would not want to take a pill that could cause heart trouble, suicidal tendencies, nausea, etc. unless it was absolutely necessary.

    So, I guess I'm a little leery of these samples.

    And Donna, I am now confused, also. Every new drug trial that I've seen has mentioned a percentage of patients receiving a placebo.

    Luv,

    Wolfen

    Some of you might not of heard

    of the Krebiozen story;

     

    Many doctors know the story of ''Mr. Wright,'' who was found to have cancer and in 1957 was given only days to live. Hospitalized in Long Beach, Calif., with tumors the size of oranges, he heard that scientists had discovered a horse serum, Krebiozen, that appeared to be effective against cancer. He begged to receive it.

    His physician, Dr. Philip West, finally agreed and gave Mr. Wright an injection on a Friday afternoon. The following Monday, the astonished doctor found his patient out of his ''death bed,'' joking with the nurses. The tumors, the doctor wrote later, ''had melted like snowballs on a hot stove.''

    Two months later, Mr. Wright read medical reports that the horse serum was a quack remedy. He suffered an immediate relapse. ''Don't believe what you read in the papers,'' the doctor told Mr. Wright. Then he injected him with what he said was ''a new super-refined double strength'' version of the drug. Actually, it was water, but again, the tumor masses melted.



    Mr. Wright was ''the picture of health'' for another two months -- until he read a definitive report stating that Krebiozen was worthless.... He died two days later.

     

  • wolfen
    wolfen Member Posts: 1,324

    Some of you might not of heard

    of the Krebiozen story;

     

    Many doctors know the story of ''Mr. Wright,'' who was found to have cancer and in 1957 was given only days to live. Hospitalized in Long Beach, Calif., with tumors the size of oranges, he heard that scientists had discovered a horse serum, Krebiozen, that appeared to be effective against cancer. He begged to receive it.

    His physician, Dr. Philip West, finally agreed and gave Mr. Wright an injection on a Friday afternoon. The following Monday, the astonished doctor found his patient out of his ''death bed,'' joking with the nurses. The tumors, the doctor wrote later, ''had melted like snowballs on a hot stove.''

    Two months later, Mr. Wright read medical reports that the horse serum was a quack remedy. He suffered an immediate relapse. ''Don't believe what you read in the papers,'' the doctor told Mr. Wright. Then he injected him with what he said was ''a new super-refined double strength'' version of the drug. Actually, it was water, but again, the tumor masses melted.



    Mr. Wright was ''the picture of health'' for another two months -- until he read a definitive report stating that Krebiozen was worthless.... He died two days later.

     

    I Don't Know, Tony

    But it certainly gives you things to think about, doesn't it?

    Luv,

    Wolfen

  • steved
    steved Member Posts: 834
    Gps unlikely to prescribe sugar tablets

    Please be reassured that gps in the uk are unlikely to prescribe sugar tablets as it is not considered ethical by pretty much all. However if you ask them the question do you suggest people take sugar tablets Or tablets that are not proven to be effective in their ailment pretty much all will say 'yes' and damn good too, or eLse they would have little to offer the majority of people who present. 

    They are not experimenting on patients but all docs are aware of the significance of the placebo effect and the fact that there is much we don't know about treatments that lie outside the standard formulary.

    Please stay away from shock headlines and impacting stories that verge on urban legends- mwnn you are better and more intelligent than that.

    Steve

  • wolfen
    wolfen Member Posts: 1,324
    steved said:

    Gps unlikely to prescribe sugar tablets

    Please be reassured that gps in the uk are unlikely to prescribe sugar tablets as it is not considered ethical by pretty much all. However if you ask them the question do you suggest people take sugar tablets Or tablets that are not proven to be effective in their ailment pretty much all will say 'yes' and damn good too, or eLse they would have little to offer the majority of people who present. 

    They are not experimenting on patients but all docs are aware of the significance of the placebo effect and the fact that there is much we don't know about treatments that lie outside the standard formulary.

    Please stay away from shock headlines and impacting stories that verge on urban legends- mwnn you are better and more intelligent than that.

    Steve

    Steve

    Thank you for the clarification. In some instances, not all, perhaps our medical system is a little more broken than yours. However, I don't understand the logic of giving a patient something that is not effective for their ailment, unless it's for psychological reasons. To me, it's dishonest.

    And I don't mean to bash all in your profession. It's just that I've run into a few questionable practioners over the years.

    Luv,

    Wolfen 

  • steved
    steved Member Posts: 834
    wolfen said:

    Steve

    Thank you for the clarification. In some instances, not all, perhaps our medical system is a little more broken than yours. However, I don't understand the logic of giving a patient something that is not effective for their ailment, unless it's for psychological reasons. To me, it's dishonest.

    And I don't mean to bash all in your profession. It's just that I've run into a few questionable practioners over the years.

    Luv,

    Wolfen 

    Wolfen

    I appreciate your scepticism and accept not all docs norall health systems arat functioning at the level we would wish. The rationale for prescribing things that lack evidence is simply accepting that docs generally are trained at requiring a high level of scientific proof of efficacy before accepting it isthere or before a drug is licensed for a disorder. This requires multiple rct type trials and huge cost. As you know pretty much all complementary meds fall outside this so any doc recommending herbs,supplements or complementary meds is technicallysuggesting treatment that lacksa evidence ofefficacy. Most presenters to gps in the uk have mild problems that don't represent any specific illness but symptoms for which there is no proven medical treatment but lots of things that may help. It is these that are a gps main armoury.

    Admitted conflict of interest being a doc married to a gp with many gp friends, all ofwhom I feel spend their lives trying their best to help people. Hence, sensationalist headlines anddodgy reporting ofsturdy findings for effect, does rub me up the wrong way. I'm all for a good discussion about the practice or use of placebo effect but would want it done honestly and without the sensationalism.

    Steve

  • manwithnoname
    manwithnoname Member Posts: 402
    steved said:

    Gps unlikely to prescribe sugar tablets

    Please be reassured that gps in the uk are unlikely to prescribe sugar tablets as it is not considered ethical by pretty much all. However if you ask them the question do you suggest people take sugar tablets Or tablets that are not proven to be effective in their ailment pretty much all will say 'yes' and damn good too, or eLse they would have little to offer the majority of people who present. 

    They are not experimenting on patients but all docs are aware of the significance of the placebo effect and the fact that there is much we don't know about treatments that lie outside the standard formulary.

    Please stay away from shock headlines and impacting stories that verge on urban legends- mwnn you are better and more intelligent than that.

    Steve

    Steve

    I think the idea that GP's prescribe unproven/CAM treatments very interesting concerning some of the discussions here on how 'valid' an alternative is and someones right to take it, Im very glad they do that rather than nothing. 

    As for 'shock headlines'...aren't all media guilty of that? 

    Now the 'urban legend' are you refering to the '"melted like snowballs" statement?"  I have to agree if a story is repeated often enough it can become 'true' however I never found any evidence that it didn't happen, still it wouldn't be the first time a placebo has had an effect that seemed unbelievable.  Vittorio Micheli springs immediatley to mind.

    Also there is the other side of the GP story, many people actually have nothing wrong with them in the first place, so it seems ok to give them nothing.

    However giving an antibiotic for a viral infection does seem negligent to me

    I have to add as well, the study came from Oxford University. Read the study here