Bad science Complementary and alternative medicine Integrative medicine Medicine Politics Pseudoscience Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking

Helene Langevin is named NCCIH director. Let the quackery flow again!

Helene Langevin has been named the new director of the National Center for Complemenary and Integrative Health. Given her history of dodgy acupuncture research, my prediction is that the quackery will flow again at NCCIH, the way it did in the 1990s when Tom Harkin zealously protected it from any attempt to impose scientific rigor on it.

Bad science Medicine Politics Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking

Medicaid and the Oregon Health Authority: The scam of replacing opioids with “nonpharmacologic treatments for pain” like acupuncture

The Oregon Health Authority is on the verge of passing a radical policy that would require chronic pain patients receiving Medicaid to have their opioids tapered to zero while covering “nonpharmacologic treatments for pain” that include primarily acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy, and other “alternative” treatments. Not surprisingly, the Oregon Chronic Pain Task Force, which is responsible for this proposed infliction of quackery on the most vulnerable, has three acupuncturists and a chiropractor sitting on it.

Cancer Complementary and alternative medicine Integrative medicine Medicine Quackery

ASCO: Endorsing the Society for Integrative Oncology’s “integration” of quackery into oncology

In 2014, the Society for Integrative Oncology first published clinical guidelines for the care of breast cancer patients. Not surprisingly, SIO advocated “integrating” dubious therapies with oncology. Last week, the most influential oncology society, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), endorsed a 2017 update to the SIO guidelines, thus endorsing the “integration” of quackery with oncology and paving the way for insurance coverage. The advance of quackademic medicine in oncology continues apace.

Clinical trials Complementary and alternative medicine Integrative medicine Medicine Pseudoscience Quackery

Surprise! Surprise! (Well, actually, no.) Acupuncture does not work for in vitro fertilization

Australian researchers have carried out another randomized clinical trial on acupuncture for in vitro fertilization. Unsurprisingly, it’s completely negative. Also unsurprisingly, acupuncturists are not happy and are furiously making excuses.

Bad science Clinical trials Integrative medicine Medicine Quackery

PLOS ONE publishes a howler of a bad acupuncture network meta-analysis

Meta-analyses can sometimes suffer from the “GIGO problem” (garbage in, garbage out). The publication of a “crappy” acupuncture “network meta-analysis” for acupuncture and chronic constipation illustrates the GIGO problem on steroids a.nd reveals a problem with peer review at PLOS ONE, where it was published