Here is a recap of the stories that appeared last week at Science-Based Medicine, a multi-author skeptical blog that separates the science from the woo-woo in medicine.
An experiment in paying through the nose for “unnecessary care” (David Gorski) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/an-experiment-in-paying-through-the-nose-for-unnecessary-care/ To control the cost of medical care we must find ways to discourage the use of unnecessary procedures. In “value-based insurance,” if patients insist on medical procedures that science shows to be ineffective or unnecessary, they have to pay for it. The American Board of Internal Medicine’s “Choosing Wisely” program is another initiative that hits doctors and patients over the head with data indicating which treatments are not supported by evidence.
Garcinia Probably Works But Is Far From a Weight Loss Miracle (Harriet Hall) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/garcinia-probably-works-but-is-far-from-a-weight-loss-miracle/ Garcinia cambogia is the latest in a series of “weight loss miracles” hyped by Dr. Oz. The scientific evidence is conflicting as to whether it works at all; and studies showing that it does work show only a small effect that is of questionable clinical relevance.
The Exciting Conclusion (Jann Bellamy) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/the-exciting-conclusion-3/ Updates on several stories: New Mexico chiropractors succeeded in getting limited prescription rights, then promptly violated the new statute by giving prohibited injections. Chiropractor Bill Doggett wants full prescription rights so he can inject plasma rich protein into vaginas. The Council on Chiropractic Education will be allowed to continue accrediting chiropractic schools for 3 more years. NCCAM is still providing misinformation about spinal manipulation. Functional Endocrinology chiropractor Brandon Babcock was sentenced to 6 months in jail.
Motivations (Mark Crislip) http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/motivations/ A critic accuses SBM of sarcasm, disdain, anger, and throwing out the alternative medicine baby with the bathwater. Dr. Crislip questions whether there is a baby in that murky water, and explains that his disdain is not for people but for ideas and concepts that hurt patients. Seeing a patient throw her life away by refusing effective treatment for cancer and substituting alkaline therapy is enough to make any compassionate person angry and sarcastic.