Thursday, September 23, 2010

Homeopathy at CVS: The Debate Continues

I recently posted a column that said that it was wrong for CVS to sell so-called homeopathic remedies next to actual medicine. It's wrong because homeopathic remedies are no more than placebo-laden water, with no biological effect. If CVS wants to sell homeopathic remedies, they should place these substances in another part of the store to avoid confusing real and fake medicines.

Homeopathy is usually benign and inconsequential (other than being a waste of money) when used to treat things like colds and headaches, which resolve on their own. But when homeopathy is used for diseases like malaria and high blood pressure, it becomes dangerous, because it can keep people from pursuing medicine that helps them.

My column generated heat, and I'm not surprised by that. Homeopathy has a lot of users, and a lot of supporters. If you want to read about how homeopathy purports to work, visit ABC Homeopathy. If you want to read more about the pseudoscience of homeopathy, I recommend, Homeopathy: The Ultimate Fake.

And if you're interested in knowing what the world would be like if homeopathy were real science, you'll enjoy this short video from the British sketch show That Mitchell and Webb Look:

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