I was going through some of the comments posted by people on BBC News' thread on non-proven drugs (popularly known as alternative medicine) being available on the NHS.
Obviously they shouldn't be, NHS funds should only be spent on things that actually work. However certain aspects of society, like the Royal Family insist on promoting un-proven drugs. Un-proven drugs unlike clinically tested drugs have no evidence to show any effect, have not been tested for safety, for effects with other drugs, for the proper doses etc. They're just put on shelves untested and sold.
Anyway one comment stood out.
Dont forget that all chemical produced medicines have side effects and are addictive natural medicines have no side effects and are not addictive and work in a slow gentle way.
What a load of nonsense! All drugs are chemicals, everything is chemicals, "natural medicines" are drugs, they're chemicals too and they of course have side effects. Just off the top of my head:
Cyanide (produced by plants, bacteria etc). Side effects include death.
Digitalis (produced in plants like foxgloves). Side effects include heart failure.
Heroin (produced by opium poppies). Side effects include addition.
Uranium (produced by supernova). Side effects include death.
Arsenic (produced by supernova). Side effects include death.
I demand freedom of choice from the national health service that is my basic human right as per the charter to deny me that is a form od dictatorship
The NHS, being publically funded must make best use of the money the public give to it. Wasting it on unproven, and by unproven I don't mean studies haven't been done, they have been done and there is no effect, is a waste of the tax payers money, and indeed it would be responsible for the loss of life of a great many people, when that money could be spent on drugs and treatments that do actually work and save people's lives.
and dont forget the chinese have been using alternative medicines for thousands of years and they are doing ok thankyou
That's nice but they often used the drugs being sold today for different purposes than what they're currently sold for. So that's irrelevant.
Until the introduction of scientific medicine life expectancy worldwide was about 40-45 at the most. So for all those thousands of years those un-proven drugs had no effect on average life span. With the introduction of scientific medicines and treatments life expectancy is now around 75.
We are so lucky to have scientific medicine, most people throughout history have not been so fortunate. Don't throw it away and squander it with such utter nonsense I'd rather not have to break out the leeches again.
Science is a method of understanding, with science we can discover what actually works and what doesn't. Science should be applied to everything so we can stop wasting our time, and money with things that don't work. When drugs are found to have no effect they should no longer be sold, they shouldn't hide under the "natural" umbrella and fool people into thinking they're actually getting treatment when they're not.