Hormones, failures, absurdities, and more…

FSM News and Articles

Acupuncture a ‘realistic option’ vs HRT for hot flushes (or is it?): Comment from Prof Alastair MacLennan about the linked article. He says, “Menopause and its common symptom, hot flushes, is often targeted by alternative therapists with a variety of placebo therapies. In systematic reviews of double blind randomised trials the placebo arm averages a temporary reduction in hot flushes around 50 percent. In comparison, oestrogen therapies have around a 80 percent sustained reduction.  This small trial of acupuncture had no control arm, was short term (5 weeks) and of course showed a reduction in flushes in some menopausal women. Menopausal symptoms often last for many years and weekly costly placebo therapy such as acupuncture is not an effective or practical solution.” 

FSM Friends’ News and Articles

The FDA’s accelerated drug approval program is failing to protect cancer patients“Patient advocates with serious diseases want promising new drugs sooner. Conservatives opposed to regulation like to push for faster drug approval as a means of making the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) less powerful, which was, of course, the origin of unethical “right-to-try” laws. Those harboring distrust of Big Pharma (which is often justified) want a more rigorous approval because they believe that the existing process is rigged in favor of the drug companies and don’t trust its results. It’s an uneasy tension that’s existed for many decades, ever since the formation of the FDA in 1906, through the 1962 Kefauver-Harris Drug Amendments to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, which mandated evidence of efficacy in addition to evidence of safety before a drug could be approved. This was a law passed in the wake of the thalidomide disaster. (A) study, carried out by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Queen’s University in Canada, found that only one-fifth of oncology drugs that received accelerated approval were ultimately validated in confirmatory trials to have an effect on overall survival. Basically, the study calls into question the entire rationale of the FDA’s accelerated approval system, at least in oncology.”


Absurd alkaline ideas – history, horror and jail time: “Young also believes … that viruses and bacteria aren’t the cause of illnesses – rather, the things we think are viruses and bacteria are actually our own cells which have changed in response to our ‘acidic environments’. “

How other countries get parents to vaccinate their kids (and what Australia can learn): Countries around the world, including Australia, are using different ways to get parents to vaccinate their children.

Great Moments in Health and Science

The invention of the adrenaline autoinjector – The long, strange history of the EpiPen: A simple, portable and life-saving intervention for people at risk of anaphylaxis, that requires only straightforward and simple instructions to use.