This article first appeared on the UK’s Health Care Information Centre (HCIC) blog.
It has been updated to include a response from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).
PhRASM says it does not comment on the accuracy of information posted on its website.
The post includes an article by a pharmacist, Dr Michael Dyson, who said that he had heard of many people getting high by consuming the herb ‘tincture’.
‘The fact that a chemist had even suggested that using the herb to help you to get high was the new scientific consensus,’ Dr Dyson wrote.
‘It’s just plain silly.’
The article was quickly removed, but not before it had been shared more than 2,000 times and shared over 100 times by others.
Dr Dyson’s claims are disputed by some of the drug industry’s biggest players.
PhRAsM said that ‘totally false’ information was posted on their website, but that it does ‘not comment on information that is false or misleading’.
The group said it had no ‘evidence’ that ‘the herb tincture has been proven to be effective or safe for humans’.
Dr Dyers comments on the topic are not the only ones making unsubstantiated claims.
‘Pharmaceutical companies are also peddling nonsense and fear-mongering on their websites about herbal remedies,’ Dr Cressida Oliveira, who is an Australian herbalist and a lecturer at the Australian National University, said.
Herbal remedies are used to treat a wide range of illnesses including anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, and chronic pain.
A 2010 study found that people who used ‘traditional herbal medicines’ were much less likely to have a serious illness like cancer or heart disease.
Sheila Taylor, director of the Health Education Trust, said the lack of scientific consensus surrounding ‘treatments’ for health problems was an issue that needs to be addressed.
“The pharmaceutical companies have been telling us for years that herbal remedies are ineffective and dangerous,” Ms Taylor said.
‘The truth is that the evidence for them is pretty scant at best, and not very robust at worst.”‘
Drug companies are selling their products as a form of medical treatment’The Health Education Group also points out that there are numerous herbal products available for purchase on the internet.
They also point to the fact that many herbal remedies have been tested on animals to see if they can treat a range of conditions, including anxiety.
But, the group says, it is clear that they are not effective for humans, or even humans in general.
Health Education Trust chief executive Michaela Taylor said that many of the ‘alternative treatments’ offered by pharmaceutical companies do not work, or do not meet the standard for safety and efficacy that is required for medical use.
In addition, some of these ‘alternatives’ are toxic and can lead to serious health problems.
Many herbal products contain harmful chemicals that have been linked to serious side effects, including liver toxicity, severe respiratory issues and severe allergic reactions.
And, according to a 2015 report by the European Medicines Agency, more than 80% of herbal products are ‘not approved for human consumption’.
A 2012 study by the World Health Organization (WHO) found that nearly 60% of all herbal products marketed in the world were ‘not recommended for human use’ by WHO.
Ms Taylor said she wanted to see a change in attitudes towards herbal remedies.
”We need to stop buying herbal remedies that are made by people who have no training, no understanding of what the science is, no background in the field, no evidence to support the claims they are making,” she said.”
And if they’re made by pharmacists, why should we trust their opinions on how to use it?”
It’s a scam.
It’s selling their product as a treatment, but the science isn’t there.
The fact is that people with serious illnesses are dying of a range and serious health conditions from using this product.
Medicines are not safe and they shouldn’t be used as a solution to people’s problems.