Friday, 25 September 2009

How effective is Conventional Medicine (ConMed)?

A good question that someone asked me. Well, here's what ConMed's own site Clinical Evidence says, at

What proportion of commonly used treatments are supported by good evidence, what proportion should not be used or used only with caution, and how big are the gaps in our knowledge? Of around 2500 treatments covered 13% are rated as beneficial, 23% likely to be beneficial, 8% as trade off between benefits and harms, 6% unlikely to be beneficial, 4% likely to be ineffective or harmful, and 46%, the largest proportion, as unknown effectiveness.

Now, are you more impressed by the 13% Treatments rated as beneficial figure (actually shown as 12% on their graph) or the "in 65% of patient cases, GPs documented a health improvement" (from homeopathy) mentioned in my previous post?

If you were the patient, would you ask for Homeopathic or ConMed treatment first?

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Choice of Treatment needed in the NHS

As my opening post I'd invite any site visitors to read the letter to Nick Clegg at the current Liberal Party Conference.
Any politician hoping to lead his /her party after the next General Election will have to have some answers about how to reform the NHS and to begin the process of educating the British nation on taking responsibility for their own health. Good nutrition and cost effective ways of preventing and self-treating for colds, coughs, snuffles and a host of "first aid" stuff can be taught in school to children and parents to reduce the load on the NHS. More on that in later postings. Meanwhile, take some time to read Martin Walker at . After you've read, and been amazed, I'd invite you to pretend you are the new Prime Minister and decide what you would do about all these links between pharmaceutical companies, Government and the orthodox medical profession. What would you do? ..........I thought so!

Sent: Monday, September 21, 2009 2:02 PM
Subject: Fw: Richard Dawkins at the Liberal party conference

Dear Mr Clegg
I have read the disparaging and uninformed remarks about homeopathy made by Mr Dawkins, an invited speaker at your party conference. Now we know that Mr Dawkins is in the lobbying camp against complementary & alternative medicine (CAM) and we know how far the tentacles of that lobbying group have spread into the political world and into conventional medical circles - see New Labour and the Pharmaceutical Industry by Martin Walker at .
But the other side of the coin, and the one I trust your party will consider with integrity in the run up to the next General Election is “What do the British public want from the NHS, and is it affordable?”
The short answer is that most patients who have tried CAM have been very positive indeed about its benefits, and would like to see it extended within the NHS. Doctors also, by referring cases to CAM therapists, have reported being able to reduce drug regimes, and save costs. See the Lewisham Hospital NHS Trust Complementary Health Centre Project & the Liverpool Centre for Health survey ( )
“after only three months, the GPs acknowledged that the majority of the patients could have reduced drug regimes, particularly analgesics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) and antidepressants. Furthermore, more than half of the patients referred to the centre would otherwise have been referred to a hospital out-patient unit and so there were substantial cost savings.”
Key Findings: The GP Experience
- In 65% of patient cases, GPs documented a health improvement, with a high degree of correlation between GP and patient assessment of health
improvement (source, project monitoring data);
- In 65% of patient cases, GPs said they had seen the patient less often following the patient’s referral to CAM (source, project monitoring data);
In the Northern Ireland CAM Project 2008 there was also “found a significant level of health gain for the vast majority of patients who have received complementary and alternative medicine as part of the pilot project” (81% of patients said that their general health had improved, with a similarly high proportion of patients (82%) reporting to be less worried about their symptoms following treatment. And 44% reported having been able to reduce their use of medication) (
No one, I suspect, will ever stop Mr Dawkins grandstanding on his pet subjects - it probably helps sell his books - but I hope that won’t stop you and your party recognising the inescapable facts, that CAM has had impressive recorded results through the centuries and that the British public want it to be better available under the NHS. I hope also that you have the courage to state support for this publicly.
Tim MacCaw