So what can we say about the year that was? There is a curse that says: ‘May you live in interesting times!’ and for those of us who support whole-person medicine, 2009 was an interesting year indeed.
For the loud and aggressive espousers of the school of fundamentalist naïve realism in medicine, 2009 started well but ended horribly. They got as far as a two day hearing (on NHS Homeopathy) of the Science and Technology Committee in the House of Commons but things didn’t end that happily for them. While some members of the committee (in particular Evan Harris, a Liberal Democrat, MP) gave the reasonable and articulate advocates of NHS homeopathy a hard time, the all important remarks were made in summation by Health Minister Mike O’Brien who said it would be illiberal (sic) and a ‘denial of personal choice’ to deny the British public homeopathic remedies prescribed by NHS homeopathic doctors.
That word, ‘illiberal’ was music to my ears as readers of this blog know I’m a strong supporter of liberal democracy in medicine, where the state should generally trust patients to choose the sort of medically-trained doctors they want to be treated by.
In 2010 my colleague, the Pie Man will remain on red alert to confuse with facts those writers who deliberately allow their readers to assume completely falsely that conventional medicine (unlike homeopathy and CAM) is fully evidence based.
And how about some ‘evidence’ for the use of Tamiflu for swine flu on the NHS? Just look at all the ‘proof’ of it’s effectiveness in swine flu here. Hey Evan Harris, Tracey Brown, Edzard Ernst, Ben Goldacre, Simon Singh, Michael Baum, pharmacologist David Colqhoun and the rest of the gang that says that homeopathy is a waste of NHS funds: How about commenting on the evidence base for Tamiflu (esp wrt Swine flu on which a lot of it was allegedly wasted)? Or is evidence based medicine only a club that you use to bash homeopathy and CAM exclusively? Just compare the £500 spent by the NHS on Tamiflu to the £10 million cost of homeopathic prescriptions to the NHS! Read here about value for money for homeopathy for the British public and compare it to the money spent on Tamiflu alone. If £500 million spent on Tamiflu has really been wasted, it would be yet another sucker punch for the taxpayer, sad for the government and almost disappointing for the makers of Tamiflu. No comment my colleauges? Thought so.
Warm wishes and festive greetings to you all.