Off The Shelf Medications – Regulatory Bodies – Caveat Emptor!

Whereas it is preferable to wish people success in their endeavours, particularly those that will benefit others, while hopefully adhering to the truth, unfortunately in our current culture events contrary to these objectives do occur. Schadenfreude is not high on my list of aspirations but sometimes it conveys a benign sense that perhaps truth still extends to some corners of our society.

To wit – a recent newspaper article indicated that a class action had been filed against ColdFx, a concoction that has been marketed more than vigorously in Canada, and presumably other jurisdictions, over the past 10-15 years.

Canadians alone have spent more than a billion of their hard earned dollars on this apparently worthless medication, which for over a decade had been touted as a cure for colds. There were also references to the preventative factor, reducing the symptoms of infections, along with shortening the duration of the problem – none of which are evidently true.

At one time a well-intentioned salesperson representing that company brought samples to my office and I had the opportunity to review the components. Although I am no expert on reviewing the ingredients and contents of medications, this one appeared to be primarily just another form of ginseng, along with a number of other obscure materials. Clearly there appeared to be nothing within the compound that should confer specific health benefits, yet regulatory bodies approved its sale.

Immediately all the large pharmacies, including the chains, had displays close to their front entrances where you could not miss the ColdFx presence. A banner boldly stating that colds, viruses, etc. were conquered, along with many articles reporting that patients who used the compound fared significantly better than those who did not. What could be more convincing?

Again, in our culture where an overwhelming avalanche of false advertising in all channels of communications exists, it is sometimes heartening to see that retribution in some form can still occur, punishing deliberate falsehood and hopefully its perpetrators, if they are still around.

So much for placing your trust in pharmacists, regulatory bodies and the machinery employed in promoting fraud. Events of this nature do not provide a sense of comfort when relying on the so-called “watchdogs” and selective regulatory bodies controlling the protection of our state of health.