The NIH HEAL Initiative is designed to study “nonpharmacologic treatments for pain.” What it will really study will include heaping helpings of “integrative medicine” pseudoscience.
Professor Fabrizio Benedetti is the most famous and almost certainly also the most influential researcher investigating the physiology of placebo effects. In a recent commentary, he asks whether placebo research is fueling quackery, as quacks co-opt its results. The answer to that question is certainly yes. A better question is: How do supporters of science counter the placebo narrative promoted by quacks, in which placebos represent the “power of the mind to heal the body”?
Tad Sztykowski is an acupuncturist who lost his acupuncture license for misrepresenting himself as a physician. His case is a good illustration of why licensing quack specialties like acupuncture is bad policy.
This week, JAMA Internal Medicine published a clinical trial purporting to find that acupuncture helps stable angina. Here’s a hint: It doesn’t. It’s a bait-and-switch study that used “electroacupuncture” instead of acupuncture with poor blinding and lack of consideration of prior plausibility.
Yesterday, social media giant Facebook announced that it was acting against medical misinformation by using keyphrases to deprioritize results promoting misinformation and scams? Is it enough, and is it too late?