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Ivermectin is the new hydroxychloroquine, take 7: Are there positive studies that aren’t fraudulent?

Ivermectin is the new hydroxychloroquine, a drug repurposed for COVID-19 that almost certainly doesn’t work but is still being touted as a “miracle cure” by quacks, grifters, and political ideologues. Are the data supporting it all fraudulent and/or biased? The answer, increasingly, appears to be yes.

I’ve long been saying that ivermectin is the new hydroxychloroquine, so much so that I have to say now that ivermectin is no longer new, even as I speculate what new “miracle cure” for COVID-19 will become the “new ivermectin”. Readers might remember that, very early in the pandemic, hydroxychloroquine, a widely used antimalarial drug with mild immunosuppressive properties that make it also useful to treat some autoimmune diseases, was seized upon as the (then) only effective treatment for COVID-19 based on reported observations in Wuhan, China during the first major outbreak. There, a group of Chinese researchers reported that none of a group of their 80 patients with lupus erythematosus who were taking hydroxychloroquine went on to become infected with SARS-CoV-2. Based on that very thin gruel, hydroxychloroquine for a time became part of the de facto standard of care around the world, including in one of the hospitals that I practice at. The devotion to hydroxychloroquine spread, thanks to promotion by Dr. Oz, then-President Donald Trump, and a veritable rogues’ gallery of quacks, and it took a long time for the evidence to catch up and kill it. There was a reason why I called hydroxychloroquine the Black Knight of COVID-19 treatments, because no amount of evidence appeared able to kill it, until it did. Even so, a year later there remains a contingent of quacks who still promote it not just as a treatment but as a preventative.

At the time, at least early last year, I could understand why so many doctors latched onto hydroxychloroquine. After all, patients were getting deathly ill and dying in droves, and they didn’t know what to do beyond supportive care that tried to keep them from dying long enough to clear the infection. Under circumstances like those, it’s human nature to try something like hydroxychloroquine, nor was it unethical then, at least initially, to try it, at least until there was more evidence. These days, not so much. We know hydroxychloroquine doesn’t work, and there are vaccines and potential treatments.

Enter ivermectin, an anthelmintic drug commonly used around the world to treat diseases caused by parasitic roundworms in both animals and humans. Based on a recent BBC news report, Ivermectin: How false science created a Covid ‘miracle’ drug, it’s looking more and more as though the clinical trial base for the drug as a treatment for COVID-19 is almost all either fraudulent or so badly done that it might as well be fraudulent. Given the publication of that news report, now seems to be as good a time as any to revisit ivermectin and look at the massive fraud that’s fueled massive grift and many conspiracy theories.

Ivermectin: Bad science helps feed a craze

As Scott Gavura and I have written a number of times, these days ivermectin has supplanted hydroxychloroquine as the “drug of choice” of antivaxxers, quacks, grifters, and ideologues, and the propaganda and astroturf campaigns to promote it as a “miracle cure” or preventative as good or better than the vaccines. There have also been a number of clinical trials testing ivermectin, some with seemingly—if you’ll excuse the term—miraculous results, so much so that there have been meta-analyses.

Ivermectin suffers from two problems in terms of evidence. First, it was first touted based on studies from over a year ago that showed it to have activity against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in cell culture. Unfortunately, what made ivermectin’s prior plausibility low is the fact that the concentration required to achieve this antiviral activity in vitro is many times higher than what can be achieved in the bloodstream with normal dosing. Anyone who does drug development research—as I’ve done, and with a repurposed drug, yet!—knows that this is a huge problem for any drug that an investigator proposes to take to the clinic. Basically, for a drug to look promising to have a high probability that it works in animals (and then in humans) as well as it works in cell culture, its effective concentration can’t be so high that it can’t be achieved in the bloodstream with even high doses. There are occasional exceptions to this rule, such as when a drug’s mechanism in vivo turns out to be different than the mechanism observed in cell culture, but ivermectin isn’t one of those.

The most widely touted evidence for the efficacy of ivermectin against COVID-19 are meta-analyses by advocacy groups touting ivermectin as a way out of the pandemic, such as the BIRD Group in the UK and the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCCA) in the US, that supposedly show, based on an aggregation of existing clinical trials of COVID-19, that ivermectin is highly effective as a preventative after exposure and as a treatment that prevents progression of mild disease to severe disease. Unfortunately, these meta-analyses are highly dependent on a small number of highly “positive” trials, which, if removed, turn positive meta-analyses into negative meta-analyses. Seemingly not coincidentally, these very highly “positive” clinical trials are also the most dodgy, either very badly done at best or outright fraudulent at worst.

The first mainstream news report about this came to us, courtesy of BuzzFeed News, about a month ago in the form of a story by Stephanie Lee and Ken Bensinger titled “A Prominent Study Said Ivermectin Prevents COVID, But The Data Is Suspect“, which built on the analyses of Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz, an epidemiology postdoc at the University of Wollongong in Australia whom we’ve met before on the topic of dodgy ivermectin studies, and Kyle Sheldrick, who has also been analyzing questionable COVID-19 studies. I discussed this report in detail about a month ago; so it might be worth your going back to read the discussion if you don’t remember it, as it sets the stage for BBC report.

Ivermectin: A false “miracle drug” for COVID-19

In their reporting on ivermectin for the BBC, reporters Rachel Schraer and Jack Goodman were aided by the aforementioned Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz and Dr. Kyle Sheldrick, along with two additional fraud hunters, Dr. James Heathers and Dr. Nick Brown. The findings are incredible. After repeating the unfortunate history of the drug as a COVID-19 treatment and mentioning how antivaxxers and antimaskers have wholeheartedly embraced it, we learn:

The BBC can reveal that more than a third of 26 major trials of the drug for use on Covid have serious errors or signs of potential fraud. None of the rest show convincing evidence of ivermectin’s effectiveness.

Dr Kyle Sheldrick, one of the group investigating the studies, said they had not found “a single clinical trial” claiming to show that ivermectin prevented Covid deaths that did not contain “either obvious signs of fabrication or errors so critical they invalidate the study”. Major problems included:
  • The same patient data being used multiple times for supposedly different people
  • Evidence that selection of patients for test groups was not random
  • Numbers unlikely to occur naturally
  • Percentages calculated incorrectly
  • Local health bodies unaware of the studies
The scientists in the group – Dr Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz, Dr James Heathers, Dr Nick Brown and Dr Sheldrick – each have a track record of exposing dodgy science. They’ve been working together remotely on an informal and voluntary basis during the pandemic.

And observational trials don’t get a pass either, given how they’ve been used as propaganda tools to promote ivermectin:

The team also looked at six particularly influential observational trials. This type of trial looks at what happens to people who are taking the drug anyway, so can be biased by the types of people who choose to take the treatment.

Out of a total of 26 studies examined, there was evidence in five that the data may have been faked – for example they contained virtually impossible numbers or rows of identical patients copied and pasted.

In a further five there were major red flags – for example, numbers didn’t add up, percentages were calculated incorrectly or local health bodies weren’t aware they had taken place.

On top of these flawed trials, there were 14 authors of studies who failed to send data back. The independent scientists have flagged this as a possible indicator of fraud.

The BBC, of course, has to be circumspect, as do the intrepid team of ivermectin study investigators who uncovered these problems, but I don’t. This reeks to high heaven of fraud, particularly given that it was primarily the studies that found large positive effects against ivermectin due to the drug were the ones with the biggest problems. As the BBC reports, the worst problems were found “all in the studies making big claims for ivermectin—in fact, the bigger the claim in terms of lives saved or infections prevented, the greater the concerns suggesting it might be faked or invalid, the researchers discovered.” Sheldrick, for instance, concedes that it’s very difficult to rule out human error, but to me these errors are so bad that they are virtually indistinguishable from fraud. Moreover, if these were in fact human errors, then the investigators behind these trials have no business being anywhere near anything resembling clinical trials or human subjects research—or any medical research of any kind. I wouldn’t even want them in a position to experiment on mice.

It’s worth it to go to the horse’s mouth, so to speak, to see what’s wrong with many of these studies:

A recent study in Lebanon was found to have blocks of details of 11 patients that had been copied and pasted repeatedly – suggesting many of the trial’s apparent patients didn’t really exist.

The study’s authors told the BBC that the “original set of data was rigged, sabotaged or mistakenly entered in the final file” and that they have submitted a retraction to the scientific journal which published it.

I like to use this particular brief clip whenever I hear a claim as ludicrous-sounding as this:

What I fear is that the authors might well try to resubmit the paper, only with more cleverly designed fraudulent patients. Yes, I said it. This is not the sort of clinical trial error that happens innocently.

Then, from Iran:

Another study from Iran seemed to show that ivermectin prevented people dying from Covid.

But the scientists who investigated it found issues. The records of how much iron was in patients’ blood contained numbers in a sequence that was unlikely to come up naturally.

And the patients given the placebo turned out to have had much lower levels of oxygen in their blood before the trial started than those given ivermectin. So they were already sicker and statistically more likely to die.

But this pattern was repeated across a wide range of different measurements. The people with “bad” measurements ended up in the placebo group, the ones with “good” measurements in the ivermectin group.

The likelihood of this happening randomly across all these different measurements was vanishingly small, Dr Sheldrick said.

It almost certainly didn’t happen randomly. Sure, it’s possible that it did, but the odds against it are so long that, for all intents and purposes, it is reasonable to assume that this was not random. Either that, or one must assume that the investigators were so incompetent at propensity score matching that, again, they should have no business being anywhere near clinical trials or human subjects research or, yes again, any scientific research. Again, take your pick.

As usual, Meyerowitz-Katz has summarized the problems on Medium:

I don’t think this was an honest mistake either, and, as the headline states, this study (Niaee et al) is the sole remaining randomized trial that shows a benefit from COVID-19 in treating COVID-19. Kyle Sheldrick has also written about it:

Dr Niaee and colleagues claim to have randomised 180 patients into six different treatment groups. I do not believe this claim is true.

The six groups have 30 patients each. Two groups did not receive ivermectin (one received a placebo and one did not). Four groups received ivermectin at different doses and frequencies.

Traditionally in table one of an RCT authors describe certain characteristics of patients in each group. Something immediately caught my eye. The number of participants in each arm who had not actually tested positive for the virus was wildly different:

Control Group: 40%
Placebo Group: 53%
Ivermectin Group 1: 23%
Ivermectin Group 2: 23%
Ivermectin Group 3: 3%
Ivermectin Group 4: 30%

The authors claim this had a p value of 0.421 from a Chi Square test. Just eyeballing this it seemed wildly off to me, and when calculating this I got a p value of about 8*10^-4. (The authors now accept that the actual p value should be <0.001 and state this was “a typographical error.”)

I contacted the corresponding author on the address given in the journal article and requested raw data but received no response. I then attempted through an email address I found online on an earlier preprint and also received no response. I then attempted through his institutional contact details at his university and also received no response. At that point I gave up and posted a comment to pubpeer pointing out the very unexpected imbalance in baseline data and suggested the trial should not be included in meta-analyses unless IPD could be provided and reviewed.

And:

A few of the first things to jump out at me where:

– All patients with missing baseline data (6 patients) occurred in a single arm. This is extremely unlikely with less than a 1 in 10,000 chance of occurring if only random chance is at play.

– While the averages from the summary data were similar between groups, the range of values between arms were wildly different.

– Far fewer patients with low oxygen levels (<90) occurred in the ivermectin arms.

– Hypotensive patients appear far more frequently in some arms than others.

So I ran some statistical tests on how unlikely some of these mismatches were. The numbers below are slightly less extreme than those I presented in my first round of criticism to Dr Niaee. Dr Niaee objected to grouping arms into single-dose and multi-dose groups, and demanded I rerun the analysis with 6 independent groups of 30. I agreed.

We already knew that the chi square for whether patients had actually tested positive to corona virus was 21 with a p value of 0.0008, this means the chance of a mismatch this extreme happening in genuinely randomised groups is less than 1 in 1,000.

There’s more, of course. Again, read Meyerowitz-Katz’s article (if you can) and Sheldrick’s article for the gory details. Suffice to say that Meyerowitz-Katz has concluded:

This is the fifth part in this ongoing saga, and honestly I’m unsure that there will be many more. At a certain point, you have to accept that the evidence-base is so corrupted that the message that has been pushed for months by eager promoters of the drug is very unlikely to be true. If ivermectin does have a benefit in the treatment of Covid-19, it is probably going to be small, and certainly not as impressive as people have been arguing for the last year.

Moreover, there are serious concerns with the studies on prophylaxis too. While it is plausible that ivermectin has some use against Covid-19, the staggering scale of the fraud has made it almost impossible to say anything for certain, except that people rarely fake trials for effective drugs.

Ultimately, we have to wait for larger randomized trials to really know whether ivermectin has a benefit from Covid-19. Unfortunately, it appears that the benefits spruiked for months are most likely based on seriously flawed, and in some cases potentially fraudulent, research.

This is one place where I now strongly disagree with Meyerowitz-Katz,even as I deeply admire his work exposing the incompetence and fraud behind existing ivermectin studies. Now, my position has evolved. We don’t need to wait for larger randomized trials to know if ivermectin works to treat or prevent COVID-19. The existing evidence base is quite clear. It almost certainly doesn’t; that is, if you take a Bayesian approach that looks at the prior probability based on preclinical basic science studies that show that the drug can’t reach a concentration in the bloodstream sufficient to show antiviral activity. As I like to say, very low to nonexistent prior probability based on basic science plus equivocal clinical trial evidence equals, “the drug almost certainly doesn’t work” (especially if you add the huge element of fraud). If you prefer, my conclusion can be phrased a bit more carefully and precisely as, “The odds that ivermectin has a meaningful clinical effect in preventing or treating COVID-19 are so low as to be, for all practical intents and purposes, indistinguishable from not working”.

In fact, I’m now ready to go one step further. It is now arguably no longer ethical to design and carry out new clinical trials of ivermectin against COVID-19. There is no good preliminary evidence that it works in humans to justify such trials, meaning that the only potential effect left is possible harm to clinical trial subjects. If you prefer, I can phrase this proposition more carefully and precisely and say that the chances that clinical trial subjects participating in a randomized trial of ivermectin against COVID-19 will be harmed are so much greater than the chances that any will be helped that it is unethical to do such a trial. I’d love to hear the counterargument, but I’m having a hard time not becoming less and less tentative in this conclusion the more I learn.

The pushback

I’ve often wondered why there has been such a flood of bad papers touting ivermectin as a “miracle cure” or “miracle preventative” for COVID-19 given that we didn’t see that for hydroxychloroquine last year. Don’t get me wrong. The evidence for hydroxychloroquine was not strong. Quite the opposite, it was incredibly weak. However, there didn’t appear to be any major fraud. There were plenty of small studies, bad studies, and the like, but no evidence of fraud except for, ironically enough, one study that linked hydroxychloroquine to dangerous and fatal cardiac arrhythmias, which briefly came close to fooling even me. (I expressed skepticism about the study but in retrospect not nearly enough and thereby learned a valuable lesson.)

Both drugs achieved a cult-like snake oil miracle cure status among antivaxxers, antimaskers, and ideologues, and for much the same reason: If there exists a miracle cure or preventative for COVID-19, then all the public health interventions that these activists hate (lockdowns, mask mandates, vaccine mandates) all become unnecessary. Business can go back to making money, and life can revert to near normal, all without pesky government interventions on behalf of public health or any collective action of any kind. The ideological motivation for promoting hydroxychloroquine (at least after the first wave of the pandemic had crested, while doctors still believed the Chinese experience and recommendations for the drug) has been the same for ivermectin. So it’s not surprising that ivermectin cranks are pushing back hard against the growing reports of fraud and incompetence behind the most commonly cited studies claiming that ivermectin is a potent treatment for COVID-19.

For instance, after the BuzzFeed report, one famous conspiracy site known for COVID-19 minimization, antimask and antivaccine propaganda, and conspiracy theories about the pandemic, defended Hector Carvallo and portrayed the BuzzFeed article and the work of Meyerowitz-Katz and Sheldrick as —you guessed it!—a conspiracy on the part of the “mainstream medical establishment” to “silence” the brave maverick doctors trying to cure COVID-19. Amusingly, Carvallo even quotes Arthur Schopenhauer:

He is confident that eventually, ivermectin will be widely used against COVID-19. “All truth passes through three phases,” he told BuzzFeed. “First it is ridiculed, then it is violently opposed, then it is accepted as self-evident. We are in phase two now.”

Yes, he’s quoting Arthur Schopenhauer. This is a quote that I laugh at, because those who quote it erroneously think that they have an unpopular “truth” that will go through these stages, forgetting that untruth or fraud will never make it past the second stage. (I laugh at it even more so because Schopenhauer almost certainly never said it.) In fact, here’s a variation of my retort:

All “fake medicine” truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed by the rationally inclined because it is ridiculous and based upon feelings, conspiracy theories, bad science, and pseudoscience instead of reality. Second, it is opposed by the rationally inclined. Third, the more complete the science and information that falsify it, the more vehemently it is embraced as “self-evident” by its non-rationally inclined believers.

I think we’re in my third stage now, given some of the other responses coming from ivermectin believers:

And, of course, there is a fake “meta-analysis” that ivermectin frauds still cite:

I really should do a post on that website, but it so much resembles websites maintained for hydroxychloroquine back in the day (and, indeed, seems to be maintained by the same astroturf groups) that I’ve had a hard time motivating myself.

And this isn’t all:

I’m going to strongly disagree with Dr. Sheldrick here too, just as I did with Meyerowitz-Katz, even if I risk being too repetitive and say again that I admire the whole crew’s work digging out the inconsistencies and omissions that strongly suggest fraud in these studies. One last time, from a Bayesian perspective we can now reasonably conclude that the chances that ivermectin produces a clinically relevant benefit against COVID-19 in humans are so infinitesimally small that it really isn’t necessary—or even desirable—to do any more large clinical trials reach a reasonable scientific conclusion that, for all practical purposes, ivermectin doesn’t work. (That is a different statement.) It’s also arguably unethical to design new clinical trials, for the reasons I’ve discussed above, as well as a waste of resources, in particular, the most precious research resource of all, human subjects.

I also understand another argument that I sometimes hear in other quarters, namely that we need a couple of slam-dunk large randomized clinical trials for ivermectin as a treatment or preventative for COVID-19 to convince doctors that it really doesn’t work. (This has been the same argument for decades for the need to do yet another large epidemiological trial looking at whether vaccines are associated with an increased risk of autism.) Then I ask myself: Really? If they’re not convinced now, what makes anyone think that another one, two (or three or four or ten) large RCTs would convince them?

Sadly, the ideology behind the antimask, antivaccine, and COVID-19 minimizing movement is a powerful drug that will, as antivaccine beliefs have, stand up against any evidence that science can produce, and, even if that weren’t the case, there’s just way too much grifting potential there.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

46 replies on “Ivermectin is the new hydroxychloroquine, take 7: Are there positive studies that aren’t fraudulent?”

I have been forwarding each of your posts on Ivermectin to a certain former friend who brought our friendship to an end with the constant forwarding to me of YouTube videos featuring Rand Paul and others who extolled Ivermectin and called for nothing short of the death of Dr Fauci. Each of my attempts to inject reason was met with a sneering dismissal of ORAC’s intentions and credibility (who is simply in league with the Devil Fauci). I guess I won’t bother with this latest effort.

I did try to explain to him that “Argument by YouTube Rant” was not a valid proof of anything, but that went nowhere either. When these kinds of peope were a niche group of cranks, you could laugh and dismiss them, but now it is so prevalent that I am sometimes surprised that our vaccination rate is as high as it is.

I’ve tried to pass along honest info about the covid vaccines to people who have gone down the rabbit hole. Any source not in the dis info dozen is dismissed as propaganda, fake news, etc. Some won’t even open links to info from legitimate sources.

During my last effort, was sent a link to a video with Dr Carrie Majed. She has looked at the vaccine under a microscope, has seen flecks and a little squiggly that looks like a mini hydra. She is horrified, and apparently so are a lot of people following her. I have no idea what she is seeing, but neither does she.

She is also a religious nutter. Her own website says she is practicing the truth in Jesus through medicine. This seems to be quite common among the disinformation pushers and their followers.

At this point, I’ve retired from rabbit hole rescue efforts.

Rabbit live in rabbit holes, and you don’t pull fish out of the sea to save them from drowning. The loons are, regrettably, in their natural environment. Pulling them out can be severely traumatizing and they struggle against those well-intended efforts.

Thanks, that was a long but very fascinating discussion. I loved the lines “most patients died before the trial started” @23:16 and another “paraphrase) ” I seen seen medical students’ fake assignments that were more convincing”.

Second only to the wholesale fraud seen in the ivermectin research; the most disgusting aspect of this whole sleazy charade has been the disingenuous positions of supposedly respectable scientists and doctors as they each promoted their own “solution” to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The GBD (Great Barrington Depopulation) promoters touted their “let ‘er rip” strategy in the absence of any preventative or curative which would have surely meant the maximum number of deaths.
The IVM promoters touted their “miracle” drug as a savior since there was nothing else available that was effective at treating or stopping COVID.
Both these “strategies” were promoted by supposedly non-kook scientists and medicos.
They were also understood to be measures that were considered the best available to defeat the pandemic in light of the lack of a preventative vaccine. It was understood that when a vaccine became available the game would have changed and the best strategy would feature vaccination as the primary mode to combat the pandemic.
What actually happened when an effective vaccine was available was the “respectable scientists, et al.” continued to promote their favored “strategy” and bad-mouthed the vaccine(s) as if the vaccines presented a danger to their little fiefdoms.
The “respectable scientists, et al.” revealed themselves to be disreputable fame-seeking liars and self-centered kooks.
.
This whole affair should be a wake-up call for science that we are not training scientists properly.
Starting in middle school it should be drilled into the student’s heads that science is a technique to remove the person from the investigation as far as possible (ergo the preference for instrumentation when possible) to defeat human bias. That includes the how and the why bias is introduced and combatted.
It should be the mission of science to evangelize honesty as the only acceptable path to determine objective truth.
It is obvious a great many doctors and scientists missed this part of their science education.

Certainly believe AVXX dot org will grab anything not a vaccine to promote — even if not a cure/treatment/good pair of pants. Promote carrots all you want for maintaining good nutrition, WTFDIC. Promote horse paste without the merits, yea, you gonna get some push back rightly. This is just so weird to be real.

The sad thing is (IMHO), I bet most of those who are not AVXX proclaimers, when clamoring for horse paste in their death throws, could have avoided a throat incision with simple free injections against COVID. I question why they come to hospitals in the first place, medical encounters certainly enforce some non-freedom actions. Hospitals aren’t miraculous – heroic maybe. Unpleasant that rationing care is an issue — over my head but logical.

And if they overdose on horse paste, what should I do? Laugh/cry/shrug it off/do something?

Crying is right out!

Weird – love but is it?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/09/16/kentucky-ivermectin-hospital-lawsuit-underwood/

“And if they overdose on horse paste”

The problem is that the stuff is nontoxic in normal use but has such a long clearance half life. Smearing it upon the gums daily?. I suspect that they are starting to roll in now after all these months.This sligjhtily triggers me.

@1000 Links to a Furlong I can not grok what the problem is with your link. Every iteration will just not, umm, link, as they say.

Please forgive me for this I have no self volition for myself {you are going to have to fill in the rest yourself because I just blew an ASIC this over achiever industrous asshole stuck in me before telling me about it. He thought he was being so smart that he notified my tendancy to bubble sort world be greatly not so much an energy drain with the damn custon died thing. So, I fucked him to death. Carry on.

If you believed in what your saying, then you would have the authors name for our clarification as to their authority in health care. You don’t have this, makes me very skeptical of the writer and their sources of documentation . Answer if you dare. I represent the science!

The author’s name is very clearly findable, right here, consider this an “intelligence test” of sorts.
Your comment clearly shows that did not read a word of the post, much less understand it.
Good luck with the sheep drench or horse paste, you’ll need it.

There are several authors named in the piece – both of the article analyzing the bad studies, and of the bad studies themselves. What are you not finding?

By the way, which science exactly do you think you’re representing?

It doesn’t take much to identify Orac and his credentials. I sincerely doubt that you represent the science if you can’t manage a clearly written and correctly spelled paragraph either.

Well I wouldn’t come in here fresh off the presses and give a box of blinky lights default credence either. He is a general purpose shape. A box.

Is not reading the post, and thus not seeing all the embedded links to sources, and not reading the full page, and thus not seeing the link to the author’s credentials, the new equivalent to bad spelling, lousy grammar, poor copy/pasta skills and awful, unreadable formatting as a means of spotting the alt-med numpties?

I read the second of those articles earlier today and matched Koala Media to Natural News. I was already aware that Adams has hundreds of websites that carry his stories. The chemtrails was the clincher.

I should go and see what Natural News is saying.

It’s a fake news assault by arsTECHNICA!!!

Anyone paying attention to that drivel will surely be dead soon of Covid-19 vaccine-associated AIDS Syndrome, so no problemo for NN freedom fighters.

Meanwhile, better buy our Survival Pails before they’re sold out and the supply chain collapse leaves you starving in dark, unheated homes.

I can’t say that I’m surprised: I’ve been watching NN for a long time.

It seems to me that both NN and PRN became increasingly political during and after the economic crisis of 2008-9- I’ve always imagined that their escalating rage against the powers-that-be was built upon the fact that people who have lost jobs, homes and investment value did not have resources to buy overpriced vitamins and food products. Thus, perhaps experiencing sales losses, these health gurus then included political/ economic fears as well as health scares.
This was especially apparent during the Tea Party era and anti-Wall Street protests: they get potential consumers to see them as fellow/sister believers and perhaps reward them for their “information” by buying products at their websites’ “stores”.

Both drifted right and ended up as either Trump-supporting or anti-liberal at least, which allows their anti-vax and anti-PH measure advocacy to mesh in neatly. During this time, both sites invited like-minded “writers” to “publish” at their sites: a few have regular posts at NN and PRN features others and even allows them airtime as guests or show hosts leading to a truly awful collection of claptrap. They also cite established crank tanks like Global Research, Lew Rockwell, RT and Epoch Times ( where Orac’s libeller, Jake, did a stint).

Recently, both CEOs have railed against efforts to clean up the internet via social media such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube**, where both have been removed or greatly dimininishd leading to their personal efforts to create social media sites to replace them- like Brighteon videos, Brighteon Social ( NN) and various additional websites ( PRN).

** plus efforts to counteract Wikipedia and sceptics’ sites like SBM, RI, etc.

I am amused (and pleased) that you refer to Epoch Times as a “crank tank”.
Guess who is one of the star columnists there – our friend Lawrence Solomon, the Professional Ignoramus! Epoch times is certainly a downgrade from The Financial Post, which I suppose couldn’t stomach his nonsense any longer. This also coincides with the closure of the Green Beanery, his “hipster coffee shop” in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood. Although COVID may have been primarily responsible, I suspect a number of commentaries on the Toronto scene mentioning Solomon’s global warming denialism may have contributed.
He’s still banging away on his favourite topics, including antivax advocacy, of course.

Re the “just a student” attempt at criticism: when I was “just a student” in the late ’70s it was a practice in some UK science departments to give final year under-grads papers to replicate; sometimes these papers were ones our tutors thought were a bit off and wanted them looked at further, but couldn’t find time themselves or for their post-docs to do so. The particular paper I and my 3 mates re-did turned out to be pretty bad. A rebuttal of said paper was eventually done elsewhere in the department.

Students do this sort of thing regularly as part of learning how scoience works…

I’m sure that you were a student but never like the rank amateurs I just found:

Lifestyle Modification Improvement of Physical and Mental Health in Elderly Participants : an Observational Study in a Controlled Environment
Herald Scholastic Open Access Journal of Alternative, Complementary and Integrative Medicine Sept 2021. By several well-known cranks.

Heh. There will be FOUR more papers coming soon.
I haven’t written proof of this but it seems that subjects may have paid for their involvement and those who followed the same programme at home got a reduced rate ( complaints about the latter). Also the study was supposed to address changes in blood chemistry and telemere length- to measure “de-aging”- but I see none of that in the paper.
It might serve as a test for students: “what’s wrong with this?”

Also: Ooops! I got the journal’s title wrong it is “scholarly” not “scholastic”: I guess my mind just wouldn’t let me write that word.

One of the authors, Richard Gale, has degrees in Eastern Religion and Buddhism Four others have “interesting” credentials and histories. Five, actually… well, all of them do.
AND no COIs? The Nutrition Institute? please.

Does putting “Scholarly” in your journal’s name work the same way as putting “Democratic” in your country’s name?

Orac- I am glad to see you now rehabilitate Scopenhauer from the ‘three stage process’ of scientific progress’, (being ‘risibly wrong’), which may be common processes but which he apparently never wrote .

An Australian gastroenterologist who has been pushing an unapproved triple therapy for Covid-19 and urged other doctors to use it, is being criticized for failing to reveal that he had filed a patent for the drug.

“(Thomas) Borody did not declare in numerous media interviews, or in his appeals to state and federal governments for funding and adoption of the treatment, that he also sought to potentially profit from it. While this is not illegal or in breach of professional regulations, medical and research experts Guardian Australia spoke to expressed concern that it may be unethical and a conflict of interest.”

Borody’s drug is a combination of ivermectin, zinc and doxycycline. Part of his conflict of interest defense is that the company seeking to develop and sell the drug (trademarked Ziverdox) has been assigned the patent(s). Curiously however, Borody is listed as the director and secretary of the company, Topelia Australia.

Guardian Australia notes that after the patent application was filed, Borody co-authored a study calling for urgent trials of multidrug therapy for Covid-19 but the authors declared there was no conflict of interest to report.

http://amp.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/oct/18/doctor-who-advocated-covid-19-therapy-including-ivermectin-applied-for-patent-on-same-unproven-treatment?fbclid=IwAR0IBq1wovlIDxy88tNBqrvqCIiUAuEhwprsLm7qmOeKed6Pfq7QlnQ3_M0

They’re martyring this poor visionary, just like they did with Andrew Wakefield.

Borody’s drug is a combination of ivermectin, zinc and doxycycline.

That really has the Morgellons/Chronic Lyme market written all over it.

(Thanks, Taylor & Francis.)

He’s going to have problems getting other Australian doctors to adopt it, since the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration has recently restricted who can prescribe ivermectin for off-label uses.

One of the reasons for the restriction (apart from the obvious ones, like its ineffictiveness as a COVID treatment) is:

[T]here has been a 3-4-fold increased dispensing of ivermectin prescriptions in recent months, leading to national and local shortages for those who need the medicine for scabies and parasite infections. It is believed that this is due to recent prescribing and dispensing for unapproved uses, such as COVID-19. Such shortages can disproportionately impact vulnerable people, including those in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Shouldn’t the horse in Ben Garrison’s cartoon be kicking the idiots who encourage a run on veterinary ivermectin, causing shortages of the drug for treatment of equine parasites?

Sort of related topic:

I was searching online for a perennial seed variety I coveted, and found a seed company in Florida that had it at a reasonable price. Despite lack of familiarity with this outfit I was ready to give them a try.

Then I saw on the website that they encourage people to do business with their “partner”, the Health Ranger Store.

Gah!

Nope, not happening.

Idk what specialty seeds you are after. 4 o’clocks? I could probably help you with that. But the bestest fastest way to rewild is just to stop mowing it.

It turns out that the Health Ranger Store offers vegetable seeds, including a “Bug Out Seed Vault” which you should buy in the inevitable event of planetary supply chain shutdowns, starvation and mass spike protein death from Covid-19 vaccines. Then you take your 20,000+ seeds from the Vault and flee to…somewhere where you plant them and starve to death waiting for the crops to come in. Or more likely, watch as nothing germinates, since you can’t store seeds indefinitely.

I guess you’ll have to buy a new Bug Out Seed Vault at least every couple of years to make sure that doesn’t happen. Profit!

*alternative for bug-outers – when mass disaster strikes, stage a commando raid on the Svalbard Global Seed Vault to obtain the seeds you need to re-establish a natural, GMO-free civilization.

http://croptrust.org/our-work/svalbard-global-seed-vault/

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