Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Birthday Result - Artrosilium website gone

It's been a year since this blog started so it seems very appropriate to mark the occasion with a little success (and a pleasant return to serious blogposting).

Back in April 08, I wrote about Artrosilium - one in a very long line of dodgy products aimed at the 5 million or so Britons who have arthitis or similar diseases. Despite having been slapped by Advertising Standards Authority in May 2004 and made the MHRA hitlist for unregistered medical products in 2003 and so not allowed to be sold in the UK, the product was still being sold via the website at www.artrosilium.co.uk.

(Incidentally, the parent company IntraMed Ltd has recently been slapped again by the ASA for another product Ginkgo Biloba in Sept 08)

I wrote again about the parent company IntraMed Ltd (and Artrosilium) with regards to their other dealings in the world of quack medicines.

In the time from then til now, the largest hit rate from search engines coming to this blog has been with searches relating to Artrosilium. My concern was that a product that had been identified by MHRA as not suitable for sale in UK was being sold in the UK via a .co.uk registered website and fellow arthritis sufferers were being suckered for more money in search of elusive long term pain relief.

With the help of Steve Rolles, I approached my local MP, who listened attentively and was immediately on side, and agreed to follow up the case.

The response I got at the time from Dawn Primarolo (Minister of State for Public Health) was helpful, but not as much as I'd hoped - mainly that because Artrosilium was being sold by a Swiss company and the payment was on a Swiss website (only the advertising was on a UK website) then there wasn't much they could do, although she did say:
...the internet service provider has been contacted in an effort to seek compliance with UK medicines regulatory requirements.
However
The importation of medicines by individuals for their own personal use or for use by a family member is exempt from regulatory controls, and this includes purchases from the internet.

I'll hopefully be taking this up with my MP in the near future, as I don't think this situation is completely satisfactory, but nonetheless appreciated the help and replies from those in charge.

She also made me aware that another IntraMed Ltd product, www.themicrodoctor.co.uk is currently being investigated by MHRA so perhaps it's not so bad.

To my happy surprise, I clicked on the Artrosilium website today to find:

Thankyou for your interest in Artrosilium. This website is currently unavailable.


So hoorah. Providing it doesn't rear its head again, I'll claim that as a minor victor for this blog and for arthritis sufferers everywhere.

BPSDB

56 comments:

  1. Nice work Dr* T.

    There's some shocking websites selling some dodgy products and we should probably all try to do our bit to help the (overworked and underfunded, IMHO) authorities to deal with these by pointing the dodginess out to the relevant body and, following your example, enlisting our elected representatives where they may be helpful.

    ReplyDelete
  2. After receiving my free sample of Artrosilium I received a 'Voucher for a Risk-Free Trial'. As well as the website address, the voucher suggested ordering by phone on 0870 120 1547. I haven't rung this number and don't intend to do so, but thought you might be interested! Mrs C.H.

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  3. Thanks Mrs C.H.

    That phone number will take you to quacks peddling all types of nonsense, including Artrosilium. They are a consorted company called Intramed Ltd (Switzerland) - I have written a blog about them here.

    I might see if I can get hold of some.....

    T

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  4. The website is still there. The URL has changed to http://www.artrosilium.net/eStore.ASP?WCI=wciProcess&WCE=OrganicSilica2

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  5. Hi Anonymous,

    This blog is quite UK-centric - my real issue was with the .co.uk use in the web address, which has been closed.

    As I understand it, the US/Canadian laws are more lax and the website you have given is for North Americans who want to be hood-winked into buying product.

    T

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  6. Thanks for this blog! Just found it tonight.

    My mother in law saw the advertisement recently in the Women's Institute magazine (and I think possibly the Telegraph around the same time), sent off for the sample, liked it and sent off for the product with a cheque to 'Intramed Ltd' at the UK based address. She was informed by telephone by the company that she'd get the product after 2 weeks of the cheque being received. It's now nearly 2 weeks since the cheque was cashed.

    I've got a copy of the voucher she filled in and it doesn't have a website address, just an address in Copford and an 0870 number

    Is her money gone??

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Anonymous,

    There's no reason why they shouldn't send some of the product, although your comeback via consumer institutions may be weak, given the way Intramed operate.

    The product itself is untested and unregulated in the UK, with no guarantee of efficacy or of the legitimacy of the products in there.

    As a for instance, let me give you a (very unlikely) situation:

    Your mother-in-law takes some Artrosilium, and likes it, but due to an allergic reaction, after a month of use becomes incredibly inflamed which is difficult to control, due to the use of an unregulated product in the gel.

    We have good regulation in this country and any company that operates in the shadows (in my opinion) shouldn't be touched with a bargepole, especially on matters of health.

    It depends on your attitude to risk - why is this company not sellig this product properly and legally in the high street?

    T

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  8. Thanks very much for the reply!

    ReplyDelete
  9. The stuff helped my mum just fine. Not sure why you are trying to beat it up?

    At least it helps - which tons of therapy and expensive creams from the drug store did not achieve. Any thoughts on that?

    ReplyDelete
  10. "The stuff helped my mum just fine. Not sure why you are trying to beat it up?"

    The product isn't registered in the UK and the company are refusing (seemingly) to get it registered, which means you have no information about quality, manufacturing techniques, efficacy, - plenty of cases of "herbal" medicines containing dangerous amounts of pharma products (e.g. steroids). The risk is yours - if it's any good, why is the company constantly coming up against the advertising standards authority for making unsubstantiated claims, why is being investigated by the MHRA and why is a dodgy e-company selling it on the web?

    "At least it helps - which tons of therapy and expensive creams from the drug store did not achieve. Any thoughts on that?"

    If I understand you correctly, your reasoning is as follows:
    "Lots of products don't work, so instead of trying to find out which ones don't work and getting rid of them, we should be allowing any old product on to the shelf".

    My thoughts on that would, I think, be pretty obvious!

    T

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  11. I think it may be worth trying
    http://www.artrosiliumonline.com/index.php
    this is a link from atrosilium.co.uk,
    and they are still in operation and all prices are in Pounds Sterling.

    I have recently had a mail offer of a free sample from Artrosilium and am awaiting delivery

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  12. Fill your boots.

    I'm glad that this dodgy nonsense is no longer on a .co.uk website.

    Why now try rubbing a red onion on your ear to cure arthritis? The evidence for that and artrosilium is similar.

    T

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  13. Another product of the same bunch of Suisses is Vision Clear. After the Dutch Advertising Rules Commission ruled their Website dishonest and against de advertising rules, I checked the Artosilium website. www.artrosilium.net is back. Honestly, I did not expect anything else.
    An article about these Suisses will be published in the next issue of Wonder en is Gheen Wonder of the Flemish Skeptics, but that will be in Flemish Dutch. It covers Vision Clear, Artrosilium, Samurai Balm and an Artrosilium drink, which keeps you forever young.I am 78 - I need that!

    Marie P.Prins

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  14. I started using artrosilium a couple of years ago, after everything including steroid injections(which made me ill) had failed. I used it for a week and the pain Id had for years in my hip had gone and now two years on has NOT returned.
    I have used it on my hand for arthritis with similar effect.
    I have recently ordered more as I have arthritis in my knees.
    I have only good things to say about this product, which causes no pain or side effects like drugs do and resolves the problem.
    It is made of natural products and smells pleasant, and appears to do the job.
    Im glad i found Artrosilium,and by this sort of rumour mongering i feel you are denying people to have choices and maybe in less pain .

    ReplyDelete
  15. Lovely anecdote, anonymous.

    If the product is safe and useful why are the company denying it to users by not registering it legally rather than selling it like some back street drug pusher?

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  16. http://www.artrosiliumonline.com/index.php
    is the site to which you get redirected from the .co.uk site.

    that a product is untested and unregulated doesnt make it bad.. acupuncture and many other alternative therapies havent had serious medical tests or have failed these tests but still work for thousands of people.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Jings - that's a pretty niaive idea, Bladedancer!

    If someone sent you a white powder or cream through the post via the intertube that you knew was untested, and there was no register of what it was, how is was made, what it contains, you'd happily put it on/in your body?

    Really?

    No you wouldn't would you.

    You're analogy to acupuncture is a tad silly.

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  18. Dr. T, I'm just in the beginning of the process of trying this product, but for the little use I have given it, it apparently works. On the other hand, I personally know people that swear by it's efficacy! So it really isn't an "untested product". It just isn't a "pharmaceutically tested product". The reason is probably simple: like many other natural products, the Big Pharma Industry tries to discredit all that cannot be put in a patent by them. The acupuncture analogy made by another reader is in my opinion, very valid. Also your "mother-in-law" analogy is a bit nonsense because every natural product sold in natural product stores is not regulated as a medicine and so it could happen an allergy or something. But should the public be denied to choose what they want to use? There are much more dangerous "proved, tested and regulated medical products", that are sold on pharmacies and endorsed by Medical Doctors. Please make a good informed research about natural products and Natural Medicine and/or Naturopathy, etc. Don't just stick to the internet. Although you can can find trustworthy information easily, I guess you would discard it and think it's all bogus. Make a consultation with a good renowned Naturopath that can explain personally to you why this natural products work. Indeed there is science behind it, but it isn't always obvious. If you want to chat personally with me about this issue (with an open minded, of course) please ask for my email. One more thing: the major concern about buying products on the internet should be whether the company is real and if it sends you the product. And if indeed the product contains what is says it does. With so many positive reviews (no, not all are bogus or "bought", many are form "real" people that post on blogs like this one) I'm sure a product must have some efficacy. I will get back to you on that (my own experience) in a few days. Best regards to you all.

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  19. Hi Anonymous (lots of anonymice, why not leave a moniker?)

    I'm just in the beginning of the process of trying this product, but for the little use I have given it, it apparently works. On the other hand, I personally know people that swear by it's efficacy!

    Lots of people swear by the power of prayer, or dowsing, or lucky underpants - I'm afraid it means nothing.

    So it really isn't an "untested product". It just isn't a "pharmaceutically tested product".

    Buying an unregistered drug made by a dodgy company with copious complaints surrounding them is a crazy crazy thing to do. No amount of wordplay is going to change the fact that you are giving money to a company surrounded in shadows, and taking what they give and putting in your body. I respect my health too much to let any fly-by-night internet shyster medicate me!

    The reason is probably simple: like many other natural products, the Big Pharma Industry tries to discredit all that cannot be put in a patent by them.

    Sadly, that's a tired argument. All pharma companies have 'generics' drugs they sell and most also wholly or partly own vitamin companies selling unpatented products. Big Pharma will make money wherever they can - and that includes 'natural substances'. I have complete disrespect for many angles of Big Pharma, but this argument doesn't hold much credibility.

    The acupuncture analogy made by another reader is in my opinion, very valid.

    Cool. Opinion is one thing, evidence is another. Once all the confounding factors have been accounted for, you end up with placebo results. That's not opinion.

    Also your "mother-in-law" analogy is a bit nonsense because every natural product sold in natural product stores is not regulated as a medicine and so it could happen an allergy or something.

    No, but it is validated as GRAS (generally regarded as safe). Have a look into what Food Standards Authority allow to be consumed, and you'll see that we in UK have a pretty good regulation system. Or at least, we did till the internet came aloNG!

    But should the public be denied to choose what they want to use?

    As a leftie, I think that's not a straight yes or no question. I don't think people should be ripped off by shysters and conmen, or should be poisoned saying "they made the choice, they live with the consequences". Are you happy for this to happen?


    There are much more dangerous "proved, tested and regulated medical products", that are sold on pharmacies and endorsed by Medical Doctors.

    Of course there are. But the important question is "Do the risks outweigh the benefits?" National Institute for Clinical Excellence decide so - and largely do a good job, I think.

    Please make a good informed research about natural products and Natural Medicine and/or Naturopathy, etc. Don't just stick to the internet. Although you can can find trustworthy information easily, I guess you would discard it and think it's all bogus.

    This doesn't make any sense. WHy would I discard trustworthy information? Independent organisations like the Cochrane Review are an amazing source of information. Why do you think I think trustworthy information is bogus? Sounds like you know the sites you take your information from are not scientifically trustworthy!

    [Sorry, I've written such a loser-length post I have to cut it in two - see below!]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dr T you are obviously working for a drug company.and not making any money from this product. I am a recent user though my dad has been using it for a long time it has alleviated the pain in my hips which is a blessing as at 53 i was shuffling because of painful hips

      Delete
  20. Make a consultation with a good renowned Naturopath that can explain personally to you why this natural products work.

    Why? I've found naturopaths to not really understand science, to disregard evidence that doesn't suit them, and to interpret data very oddly in their favour. But maybe that's just my limited experience. However, more objectively, any products that I've looked at for arthritis (e.g. cider vinegar, rosehip etc) have no real evidence behind them. It seems that people can't take the fact the modern medicine (or anything else!) can't do much for arthritis.

    Indeed there is science behind it, but it isn't always obvious.

    Sounds like a bit of hand waving! What do you mean?

    If you want to chat personally with me about this issue (with an open minded, of course) please ask for my email.

    I would actually be interested in chatting to you about it. But before we do, what would you (as a naturopath) suggest I take for arthritis? I'll go off and wander through the literature (if you could provide references even better) and report back.

    One more thing: the major concern about buying products on the internet should be whether the company is real and if it sends you the product.

    Disagree. Getting ripped off is minor compared to putting somethign in your body that you have no idea where it came from, what it is, how it will affect you and whether it contains cement, rat poison, etc.

    And if indeed the product contains what is says it does. With so many positive reviews (no, not all are bogus or "bought", many are form "real" people that post on blogs like this one) I'm sure a product must have some efficacy.

    Amd that is the fallability of human nature right there in that last sentence! However, we humans are simple folk and easily fooled - hence we found out about placebo effect, sample bias, the need for blinding etc. As I said above, I have good friends who have been cured by faith healing. I'm pretty sure they've got a misattributed coincidence, because the probability of that happening is a lot less than the probability of an external universal force, breaking the laws of chemistry, physics and biology momentarily for one individual!

    I appreciate your civility and time taken to write your thoughts here.

    Cheers,

    T

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  21. I have left a message on here previously, but have one more thing to add to you trouble making.....I have only praise for Artrosilium....used it for two years and its sorted me out. I was crippled with fibromyalgia and arthritis and it has removed a lot of the pain.

    As for the company being bogus, I have had nothing but help, courtesy and my goods as promised. But hey people are listening to your remarks and taking them on board but how do we know that your not a Bogus Doc....just out to cause trouble.????

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  22. Just read your...thinking is dangerous....and your profile stating who you are is irrelevant....you see I have now retired from the Medical field (not in industry or sales) and I disagree, as you have no right to be issuing Medical advise to people unkess you are qualified to do so.

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  23. You (author) are an idiot. First thing to do is NOT trust any government authority--they are in it for the money, that's the modern state of affairs. Second thing, now you have your peepers wide open, go TRY the stuff or ask a friend having arthritis-like pain to TRY the stuff, then report back to us what he or she said about it. I know 2 persons who recommended this painkiller to me because it works for them--one is a dear lady aged 88, one is a young lady aged 26. These are sincere people. I believe their testimony and say PTOOEY to your dismissal of something you've never checked out. Just forget writing about it, you hack.

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  24. Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

    *wipes eye*

    I normally don't respond to anonymice, but you are a classic.

    I think your argument can be summed up as:

    "The author is an idiot. Instead of trusting a system of quality and safety installed by the government (Or whoever) it is more sensible to ingest a product which is being sold by a shady company, and for which there is no indication as to quality or safety".

    We can agree to disagree, but I'll put a bet on you being the more likely of the two of us to get a Darwin award.

    Oh, by the way, I've got some medication which is good for people like you. It'll really help. Send me some money, and I'll send it to you, just rub it in your eyes and you'll feel loads better. It's not licensed or anything, but that's OK, right?

    T

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  25. Well well hasnt Dr T got a lot to say for himeself! May I just ask a couple of questions, firstly do you suffer from arthritis Dr T? and if so have you tried this product? I'd wager the answer to both these questions is no, and yet Dr T still presumes to know better than genuine sufferers, who have not only tried this but many other products and seem to be pleased with the result. As for not trusting anything that hasnt been approved by a goverment system well I guess some people just cant function without the aid of the nanny state. The bottom line for this and any other medicinal product is does it work or not? My wife suffers from arthritis and she swears by this gel so that (despite Dr T's patronising drivel) is good enough for me.

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  26. Thanks for your post Paul. (It was a bit over-sneery, but hey, this is the internets)

    I'll bet you £10,000 that I do have arthritis, and as you've already said you'll wager I don't, please send the money to my paypal account.

    You've got a funny view of the 'nanny state'! You're happy to buy product from a shadowy internet based company, regularly slammed by the advertising standards authority, refuse to comply with any law on product licensing, manufacturing etc? Fine, I don't. I'd rather have some confidence that the company isn't a swindling, is legit, has a product not filled with dirty pharmaceuticals despite what it says on the label etc.

    NOthing to do with 'nanny state'!

    The bottom line isn't "Does it work?" Plenty of things 'work' but have a safety profile which is disastrous. By your reckoning Vioxx should still be on sale! No thanks!

    Thanks for anecdote about your wife. I'm glad she's found a way of feeling she's relieved. Feel free to ascribe it to whatever you like.

    T

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  27. just one small question. Is Dr T really a doctor, and if so how is his arthritis getting on?..
    My mother has used Artrosiluim for 5 years now when she got fed up of having to rely on other people (due to her arthritic problems) to do everyday chores for her. She now holds down a regular job in a supermarket stacking shelves, cycles to work, goes camping (NOT in a caravan or mobile home thing, but with a push bike and tent!) and will be celebrating her 70th birthday next June.
    I agree with one of the contributors to this blog further up who asks why should we be denied the right to choose??
    As for 'regulated' or 'approved' substances.. very funny!!... just recently there was a documentary about medicine for diabetics being dangerous because it could increase the risk of heart attacks!.. and it's apparently been used extensively in the UK - BECAUSE IT WAS GIVEN THE OK BY GOVERNMENT BACKED OFFICIALS WHO DON'T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT OUR HEALTH.. THEY'RE ONLY THINKING ABOUT HOW MUCH 'COMMISSION' THEY CAN GET OUT OF IT - I'm sure this is not the only drug 'approved' that has questionable side-effects.
    Which comes to the first question I asked - Are you a real doctor?.. and my last question - How much commission do YOU claim on some of these 'approved' medications that just make the British public more unhealthy and in need of more 'approved' medication which in turn creates more complications - keeping us more and more dependant on these doctors who are only interested in earning themselves more and more 'commission'... peace be with you
    If you're NOT a real doctor then why on earth do you think anyone should believe you either?

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi MacBeth,

    Thanks for your comment.

    My bio at the top of blog clearly says I'm not a medical doctor, (but do have a PhD).

    That said, I wouldn't want people listening to me because I am/am not a doctor, but more because of what the evidence of any health intervention suggests.

    Don't take my word for anything, but question the evidence (that's all I'm doing here) - and there is no good evidence that Artrosilium has any benefit apart from anecdotes (such as yours) which are the very weakest form of evidence.

    It is so weird that people such as yourself suggest that there is some malevolent force at work because someone like me speaks out against the loose UK laws and unscrupulous fraudsters and marketeers, preying on people in pain and offering them a glimmer of hope when there is none.

    I care about people like me with arthritis not being conned. Especially me!

    T

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  29. Really? You wouldn't like to see someone conned??
    Let me tell you a story...
    A friend of mine found out he had arthritis about 15 years ago and quite naturally went to his GP for treatment.
    After a while the condition got worse and his GP recommended Keyhole surgery to correct the problem. (Sorry if I'm not being very technical, but I am NOT a doctor).
    This seemed to work for a while.. about a year or two, but the pains worsened again and the surgeon told him his best option would be a knee replacement.
    He agreed to the surgery and went into hospital for three days... intially. The operation didn't go well, the kneecap was loose and it was decided to try to rectify this.
    The second operation didn't quite do the trick so they operated again!!! Now he can't walk further than the end of the garden path without having to rest his leg, is constantly in danger of falling over because the kneecap, which they 'fixed' just under and to the side of the joint, just isn't doing it's job!
    This was all done on the NHS at an approx cost of £10,000 for the initial operation and about £3,000 for each of the subsequent operations. His condition is worse and he is now considered disabled at the highest premium.
    NOW!... if that's not the biggest legal con going??
    When he asked the surgeon what can be done about it, he just said that sometimes it doesn't work, and that it's a very rare case.... very expensive case I would say, and one the taxpayer shouldn't have had to pay... the surgeon is the only one to gain here.
    If he had tried Artrosilium all those years ago then MAYBE he might never have needed to listen to some knife happy surgeon telling him fibs.. then again MAYBE he'd have had an allergic reaction?.. who knows, but don't tell me that 'approved' or 'regulated' medicine or other treatments are any safer than what YOU call 'bogus' alternatives. We all have minds of our own, don't try telling us what to think or believe.

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  30. I'll counter your anecdote with my experience - before surgery, my NHS consultant explained that there was a reasonable chance the intervention would not be successful(10% IIRR) and sizeable chance (10%) that it would be worse. He made sure I was fully aware of the risks and complications before I took the op.

    An almost 1 in 5 chance of no inprovement or being worse off is quite a big risk, but I makde the decision and I took the risk.

    This is how I understand things are done in the NHS.

    Even if they aren;t, the logic that this somehow means you should ingest/use untested, unregulated products not knowingly made in a condition which makes them fit for human use, is clearly and obviously flawed.

    T

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  31. Sorry I haven't been online for a while, but I would like to answer Dr T.
    You say you had a good experience with the NHS... you were lucky... My friend was told 'you'll be back on your bike (pushbike) in two or three months' 'it's a simple operation with a 99% rate of success' 'operations of this type are done three or four times a day in our region' (doesn't say much for the success of treatment of the disease!!)
    I came over this site because I was looking for a website selling Artrosilium because someone had seemingly sabotaged the one I used before.
    ... Thinking is Dangerous... ??
    NOT thinking is what got this country into the mess it's in at the moment.. and inciting the population to act without thinking is dangerous more than you might think... but then, you don't... do you??



    Why flawed?... when tested and regulated products knowingly made in a condition which (apparently) makes them 'fit' for human use... are even more dangerous and in some cases fatal??
    In an earlier post I read

    The bit that got me was:
    "...regularly slammed by the advertising standards authority, refuse to comply with any law on product licensing, manufacturing etc?"
    What exactly have the Advertising Standards Authority said?
    What Laws has the 'company' refused to comply with?
    If they are producing and selling this product outside the law then why are they and also their clients not prosecuted?
    ... Maybe the powers that be are getting a cut of the profits!!??..
    The very powers you.. Doc T .. have set out to defend??
    Makes sense, they'd get a much better cut than if the product went through their 'regulation' channels... they'd have to share the profits among too many pple..
    loll.. you accuse us of wearing blinkers??... you should take a look around you

    ReplyDelete
  32. Seems like some of the text I put into my comment wasn't processed.
    Anyway, I would like to add something.. it struck me as I was reading over some of your replies.
    You remind me of the 'Scientifics' you read about from the Middle Ages.. sorry, just a reflection I had... when Columbus wanted to sail over the horizon he was told he'd fall off the edge of the world?!..
    Darwin 'proved' the effects of evolution... but the fact or fiction that we are descendants of the apes apparently isn't yet.. although almost everyone believes it... if you had professed this belief in Medieval times you would probably have been burned as a witch... you seem to be on your own modern day witch hunt.
    I really don't know why you are going on this crusade.. what are your motives?..

    ReplyDelete
  33. Found the bits that didn't process earlier - quoted from Dr T:

    "This is how I understand things are done in the NHS.

    Even if they aren;t, the logic that this somehow means you should ingest/use untested, unregulated products not knowingly made in a condition which makes them fit for human use, is clearly and obviously flawed."

    Here's another one:
    "As a leftie, I think that's not a straight yes or no question. I don't think people should be ripped off by shysters and conmen, or should be poisoned saying "they made the choice, they live with the consequences". Are you happy for this to happen?"

    I think you contradicted yourself?

    "An almost 1 in 5 chance of no inprovement or being worse off is quite a big risk, but I makde the decision and I took the risk."

    Do you think if your operation didn't work then you had been conned?
    Leftie??... is that BNP or Labour?

    ReplyDelete
  34. A lot to get through in that, MacBeth!

    "'it's a simple operation with a 99% rate of success' 'operations of this type are done three or four times a day in our region' (doesn't say much for the success of treatment of the disease!!)"

    1. 99% means there is a 1% chance of failure. That is human problem with stats. If you are the one person in 100 it can feel like a rum deal.

    "Why flawed?... when tested and regulated products knowingly made in a condition which (apparently) makes them 'fit' for human use... are even more dangerous and in some cases fatal??"

    2. This is a misunderstanding of the stats again. If a regulated product has adverse effects on 10 people, does it matter if 1,000,000 people found benefits or is it the same if only 1 person had benefits?

    "What exactly have the Advertising Standards Authority said?
    What Laws has the 'company' refused to comply with?"

    3. Erm...follow the links to the ASA sites in the blogposts - it's all there!

    "If they are producing and selling this product outside the law then why are they and also their clients not prosecuted?"

    4. Curious loophole in UK law. Clients shouldn't be prosecuted anyway, the dealers rather than the users are badguys.

    "...boring conspiracy theory..."

    5. Keep your feet in the real world. Talking about conspiracy theories and making ad hom attacks is boring and fruitless - go elsewhere for that sort of nonsense.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Phew. Next one.

    "when Columbus wanted to sail over the horizon he was told he'd fall off the edge of the world?!.."

    People have known the earth was round since the 3rd century BC. No idea what you're trying to say.

    Darwin 'proved' the effects of evolution... but the fact or fiction that we are descendants of the apes apparently isn't yet.. although almost everyone believes it...

    2. Darwin didn't 'prove' anything. He put forward a theory that has been adapted and amended lots of times and will continue to be in future - that's science.

    "if you had professed this belief in Medieval times you would probably have been burned as a witch... you seem to be on your own modern day witch hunt.
    I really don't know why you are going on this crusade.. what are your motives?.."

    3. This is a leap of logic that doesn't make any sense. 'Crusade' is a silly word to use as it is religious. All I'm trying to do is ensure that I don't get fooled by quack products for arthritis - be they from big pharma, big nutrition, or big supermarkets.

    "An almost 1 in 5 chance of no inprovement or being worse off is quite a big risk, but I made the decision and I took the risk."

    Do you think if your operation didn't work then you had been conned?"

    4. How can you be conned when you are told what the risks are beforehand? I'm not saying it's not hard to come to terms with, but if the Doc says if you roll a six then it's bad news, and you roll a six...

    "Leftie??... is that BNP or Labour?"

    I think you might need to brush up on your politics as well as your understanding of stats!

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  36. If you want to get people to see your point of view Dr T, I think you'd be better off being a little less patronising and affording people's experiences some credibility. What started out as a useful forum for me has turned into something totally useless as it does not appear to offer an objective viewpoint at all. As a result of your comments to individuals who have posted on this site, you have come across as something of a brow-beater, interested only in having people agree with you, not in paying any real attention to their experiences. What a shame.

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  37. 3.3.11 Guess what...they are back again! Now the .co.uk redirects you elsewhere but the end result is still the same...the product is on sale in the UK again!

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  38. Oh and it's being sold on Ebay too!

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  39. I believe Artrosilium is ancient Greek for SILLY ARSE.

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  40. Received brochure from Meditus Corp in the mail for a free trial of this product and was tempted..but after checking the net and reading comments decided it was just another con.

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  41. Received same brochure for free trial today; thought it seemed like a present from the universe for my arthritis but obviously not, after reading all these comments.Their address is a PO box in Victoria - they have infiltrated Australia now then.

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  42. my mother is a very large lady therefore has many joint problems.
    after using the FREE sample she is back on her feet and swears by it,and was happy to spend the $250 they are asking....it may not work for all but she loves it....
    yes it's hit australia

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  43. This is all a bit much. How naive is this belief in the local doctor at the expense of all other modalities. The iatrogenic hit rate [i.e., level of disastrous outcomes from conventional treatments and hospital admissions] for western mainstream medicine is appalling - around 15%. This is where people get WORSE, rather than better, not because of their condition itself but BECAUSE of their treatments . . . Adverse outcomes and side effects are by no means limited to alternative remedies.

    Like many others whom you seem to paint as fools or self-deluded, I too have found that Artrosilium was hugely helpful. Sorry, but there you have it. Perhaps if it had given you relief where other things had largely given you unwelcome side effects you would be a little less self-satisfied. I frankly don't care if you don't like it, but how dare you gloat about making access to this harder for me and others who want to use it.

    You seem to be saying that "mainstream" practices are evidence based AS IF that somehow negates the spectacular harm done to people with drugs like Viox and Celebrex, largely withdrawn because of their adverse and all too often lethal consequences. And as you might admit, if you applied your zeal a little more dispassionately, these horrific outcomes were despite so called double blind gold standard trials.

    There's a list as long as your arm and you need to be a little less smug before you knock people who look for solutions that are generally well considered, side effect free and simply lack the hundreds of millions of pounds apparently necessary to do the kinds of longer term trials conducted by those who prescribe the medicines for the people who manufacture and distribute them, both groups profiting in billions of pounds each year.

    If you don't see an ethical and evidence gathering problem with that then you need to take a deep breath and a closer look, a much closer look.

    And where are most of the first phase trials done? Among the poor, and among people in the third world. And are they all necessary. No. They are not the only way we can clearly discern efficacious outcomes. They may be for you, but the rest of us believe that the replicable experiences of intelligent health consumers without a product to sell are of some value as is the evidence gathered around the world by practitioners in other health modalities.

    I too would call an ambulance rather than an aromatherapist in a medical emergency, but spare me the almost religious, black and white, cant about the virtues of so called "evidence" based medicine/pharmacy over the evidence based health care experiences of millions of people that are shared and valued as they work together for optimal health outcomes.

    Your intentions may be honorable, and you may want to protect people from themselves, but your efforts to big brother everyone who looks outside the square, who can accept the value of ethnographic and other applied research evidence, may actually be keeping more people in harm's way than you imagine.

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  44. Hi Russell,

    You have some valid points, but in the context of this blog they are irrelevant.

    Tackling placebo-sellers who are selling rubbish to desperate people in pain is important to me, as I am one of those people in pain.

    If you want to bang your drum about big pharma, go ahead and start your own blog!

    Your post is like complaining to Help the Aged for not caring more about starving children.

    T

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    1. I am forced to conclude that your arrogance is as astounding as your ability to misread what someone has said. I am not against big pharma. It is what it is and it has saved my life several times. That doesn't mean it is without great blemish or somehow, mystically, always a better bet than naturopathic or other alternative remedies.

      I am not against quackery in any modality.

      However I am against self righteous crusaders who have been intellectually captured and compromised by the good old double blind trial paradigm, people who decide that unless people reach their conclusions in the same costly, supposedly replicable, way they should not be able to access what they find helpful.

      And while belief can be misplaced and indeed wrong it can also play a very positive role in wellness - whether or not you regard it as a placebo effect. Perhaps you can stop trips to Lourdes and ban prayer - they are both clearly light on in the double blind trial area - or maybe you just need to get your head out of the clouds and around some of the immense body of evidence around the efficacy of belief. This is not a plug for religion or witch doctors but for goodness sake, your crusade is almost religious in its fervor.

      I am not suggesting that this arthritis remedy is a winner for all but your arrant intellectual snobbery in dismissing experience outside your own, outside those of the drug cartels who pay the millions of dollars to the doctors and other workers who run their often shabby drug trials is just mind numbingly unacceptable.

      Russell Pollard

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    2. Thanks Russell,

      Sounds like you need to relax.
      Lourdes and prayer I'm sure are lovely things, but if you think they have any physical effect on the body (i.e that being in a place can break the fundamental laws of biology) then you're deluded. That might be quite fun for you and may not affect your life adversely, but equally it doesn't stop it being true.

      Others experiences are up to them to experience, but the cause of those experiences may (and often are) be differnt from the sources ascribed.

      ANd then you finish with standard big pharma nonsense yadda yadda yadda. That's ok - you can't seperate the good from the bad.

      T

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  45. what a load of old cobblers. I'm going to try some just to see what all the fuss is about and I don't even have arthritis. The only comment worth reading is the ancient greek one about silly arse.
    non anonymarse

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  46. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  47. anonymous
    my husband has used free trial for 2 days it has given him relief but compared with spinal block therapy for the pain he suffers I think it is worth it he is 81 and also has Parkinsons disease so as I said if it works for him I am all for it

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  48. What gives you the right to try and blacklist something that actually gives relief to arthritis sufferers? do you suffer from this crippling disease? until you have experienced the pain, do not be so free with your condemnations. I have found it a great relief. Like many other medications and "approved" treatments, it does not work for everyone, but surely those who get relief have the right to use it without people like you condemning it.

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  49. Well thanks to the likes of you my Mum is a little distraught and is now back to wearing medicinally approved bandages as opposed to wearing nothing on her wrists other than a bit of gel that made the world of difference to her.
    Try complaining about Nukes you miserable little man.

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  50. I was sent the free sample and it seemed to work,I naively thought that this product must be really good if the company can confidently send out samples knowing that they will be used and the patient will re-order. So when it ran out, I purchased more from Ebay,I've been using it about six months and had no idea that it had not been properly tested and recognised.Thanks for the information Dr.T.
    I will try to find an alternative.

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  51. Hi, I live in New Zealand and have just received a mailer (addressed to me personally) from Meditus Corp advertising the free sample of Artrosilium. Likewise when you go onto the online site to order the free sample it will come back saying there was no rsult for this site. Thanks for the blog - I can now see it is a scam.

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  52. Thanks Dr T for your narrow-minded, bigoted prejudice against complementary remedies. Your unpleasant diatribes in response to others' reasoned arguments based on their experiences rather than your blind promotion of 'science' has convinced me to try Artrosilium for myself, as conventional NHS doctors and their medicines have so far produced very unpleasant and dangerous side effects - despite all your confidence in their 'safety'! I greatly thank those more enlightened of your dissenters whose gentle intelligence I would prefer to trust!

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