Paul Offit discusses Oscillococcinum

Oscillococcinum is a homeopathic scam sold as a cold and flu “remedy”. Supposedly made from burberry duck heart and liver because (according to homeopaths), these are “reservoirs” for influenza virus it is in fact, sugar.

It’s an ideal example of the problems Aussies face with homeopathy regulated under our TGA. As we know homeopathic “medicines” are “often so diluted they don’t contain any of the active ingredient”. Australia’s TGA regulations on homeopathic and anthroposophic “medicines” are quite plain in that this fact ultimately dictates that homeopathic products must comply with The Australian Code of Good Manufacturing Practice –  cGMP standards. Overseas sponsors must provide evidence that this standard is met. Whether or not this is actually occurring has no bearing on the rationale.

The rationale for this is that although most homoeopathic (and some anthroposophic) medicines are diluted to the point where it is no longer possible to detect any of the original mother substance, a major factor in ensuring the low risk nature of these medicines is making sure that the mother substances are properly identified, and the dilution and succussion processes are appropriately monitored.

Translation? Some homeopathic products claim to be made from nasty and potentially high risk “mother” substances. The final product from homeo-hokery pokery actually contains no active ingredient, and the TGA is all about preventing risk. So to be certain you’re selling nothing nasty – or rather, nothing at all – your hokery pokery will be subject to cGMP. Efficacy is neither here not there when it comes to alternative “medicines”.

This is rather strange because in 2003 The Expert Committee on Complementary Medicines in the Health System [ECCMHS] recommended that;

Homoeopathic medicines and related medicines making therapeutic claims be regulated to ensure they meet appropriate standards of safety, quality and efficacy.

Efficacy? Quality? Therapeutic claims? Regulation? This is simply not not what we see today, despite the fact 1600 complementary “medications” were recalled in 2003. Recently efficacy was raised again in the transparency review of the TGA. Plainly this is just not good enough.

Remember that a dilution of 1 in 100 is designated by “C” – a centesimal. Oscillococcinum is 200C. In Australia 200C is also known as “bugger all”. Yet, Aussies pay good money for this apparent remedy. This scam.

Paul Offit sums this up nicely in about 2 minutes, and I added some slides for sex appeal.

Paul Offit discusses Oscillococcinum


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