Saturday, March 21, 2009

MHRA force Duchy Originals to remove claims of efficacy

Duchy Originals, Royal Quackpot Prince Charles' company, has been censured for putting claims on their website that their pretend-medicines work.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Agency (MHRA) received a complaint regarding Duchy Herbals Echina-Relief Tincture and Duchy Herbals Hyperi-Lift Tincture, which had been advertised on the Duchy Originals website as having been assessed for efficacy. The MHRA agreed with the complainant and said their website was was misleading. Personally, I would use a word considerably stronger than 'misleading' - how about 'bullshit'?

The two products had been registered with the MHRA as Traditional Herbal Medicines which means the MHRA do not assess evidence of efficacy. Although the report was only published this week, the action was agreed with Dodgy Originals back in January 09. Not that such a trivial thing would stop Dodgy Originals from claiming their potions work - I wrote during the week (before coming across the MHRA report) about Dodgy Originals' response to Professor Edzard Ernst's broadside on Duchy quackery. Part of the Duchy response from Andrew Baker included the following, with my comment below:
Our Duchy Herbals Echina-Relief Tincture and Duchy Herbals Hyperi-lift Tincture have both been approved and licensed as traditional herbal medicines by the UK regulatory authorities, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Come on, 'fess up, Mr Baker. You and I both know that MHRA approval does not give any indication as to effectiveness. The MHRA never make any claims as to a [Traditional Herbal Medicine's] efficacy, just that it is safe to use and has been well manufactured and won't kill you. But you wouldn't be trying to hide that fact, would you?

I think the answer to that question is now obvious. It seems that Dodgy Originals had already been censured for claiming the MHRA registration demonstrated efficacy two months before writing the above.



  1. It does look like a smack in the teeth for old jug ears.

    However, I do find it strange that the brand pedals detox stuff when a lot of Duchy Originals products are not exactly good for you. Surely it would be better not to sell beer than clean up the mess afterwards?

  2. Reading the complaint, I see the line:

    Following delays in implementing the changes, Nelsons provided additional training to Duchy Originals staff on the legislative requirements.

    Too bad 'additional training' does not translate into fines, loss of business license, jail...

  3. Private Eye had a brilliant sketch about this in which Camilla gives Charles a large gin telling him it's some of his Duchy tincture. It makes him feel 100% better...