11 November 2010

Real medicine vs Quackology

The difference is in the waaaaah!

I'm responding to a prompt from @drunkenmadman (who has been a busy little boffin lately) to blog about this story. It's an unfortunately-not-isolated incident of a manufacturer of a dubious health product throwing a hissy-fit and crying to their lawyer just because somebody had the audacity to expect their claims to have validity. It's the grown-up equivalent of a conversation that goes, "You're a poo-face!" "Am not! MUUUUUMMMMM!!!!"

Or to put it more poematically:

When medical scientists test a new drug
Just how do they have it appraised?
A Clinical Trial is performed to debug
Any problems or side-effects raised.

Phase I involves just a small sample, and that’s
To determine its safety and dose
And to see if what worked well in rabbits and rats
Works in people, or even comes close.

Phase II looks more closely at safety and such
And effectiveness measured all ‘round.
More subjects are used in Phase II, as that’s much
More complete and statistically sound.

Phase III is quite thorough, as one drug’s compared
To others in mass circulation
Much data’s collected and test results shared
To prepare for its use by a nation.

Phase IV kicks in once widespread use is effected
And long-term impact is assessed.
So if anything pops up that wasn’t expected
Those problems can then be addressed.

There’s only one phase in a quack’s evil plot
They claim that their magic’s good for ya,
And if anyone else dares to claim that it’s not
They get huffy and call in a lawyer.

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