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Magnets: Dept of Health comes clean – DC's Improbable Science

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Download Lectures on Biostatistics (1971).
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Download review of Lectures on Biostatistics (THES, 1973).

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Wearing magnets in the hope of benefit is one of the best know delusions (see below). It was therefore a shock when the NHS said it would pay for magnetic bandages. Using the Freedom of Information Act (FoI) II asked the Prescription Pricing Authority (PPA), and then the Department of Health (DoH), for documents that referred to this bizarre decision. Both refused, as related below.

When the Department of Health refused my FoI request, I asked for an internal review. Nothing happened for months, but on 10th Oct 2006, a parcel of papers arrived.

Michael King is Director of Planning and Corporate Affairs at the PPA He said (see below)

“There is no judgement offered about whether a product in the Drug Tariff is more (or less) efficacious than any other, or the placebo effect.”

This is not true, The papers from the DoH show that the PPA considered at length the evidence provided by the manufacturer, Magnopulse Ltd. 

 
 

And in an email dated 19 Dec 2005

 
 
 
 

So the ‘efficacy’ of the product was assessed. It was just assessed incompetently.  

The PPA do not seem to have noticed that a quite different conclusion about the paper in the Journal of Wound Care was reached by a different bit of the NHS. The NHS National Electronic Library for Health concludes (and also the NHS Clinical Answers Service)

“Therefore, no firm conclusions can be made on the basis of this study alone.”

The PPA do not seem to have noticed the endless evidence from other sources that magnets are boloney (see below)

And the the PPA do not seem to have noticed that the author of this paper is the is the Founder, CEO and Medical Director of one of the wackiest alternative medicine clinics, the Chiron Clinic (see below). He will charge you £135 for a consultation for which you’ll get magnets and phony nutrient treatment.

 

Follow-up

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