People Die. Homeopathy Can Help.

People Die. Homeopathy Can Help.

Death probably has more inevitability than taxes. Everyone dies. The question is not are you going to die. You are. The question is are you going to die before you should. Is your death preventable?

There are a lot of reasons why people die prematurely. I spend 95% of my time in in-patient medicine and my sense is a major reason people die is lack of health care insurance. They have illnesses like HIV or high blood pressure and they do not seek care until it is too late to halt or reverse the course of their disease. It is sad.

I do not know how often those without health care insurance in the US turn to pseudo-medicine as an alternative to effective therapy. We have uninsured friends who have used over-the-counter homeopathic products in placed of effective therapy because it is a product they can afford (no expensive doctors appointment and prescription) and, since it is offered in a drug store, they think it must have efficacy.

If homeopathy is used for a trivial problem at least there is no medical harm, but there are diseases that have potential to kill. Asthma, for example. Nine people a day die of asthma in the US. In a country with a population of over 316,148,990 people it is unlikely anyone has seen an asthma death. The last asthma death I saw was as a resident. But it happens.

It is why treating asthma with pseudo-medicine, or placebo, makes me nervous. I would suspect, but do not know, that people, especially the uninsured,  would try over-the-counter medications to treat asthma as it is relatively inexpensive and accessible, although not necessarily effective.

Target sells a homeopathic asthma spray for

minor asthma symptoms including shortness of breath, wheezing, and tightness in chest.

Really. You have signs and symptoms of a process that can kill you and Target offers a pseudo-medicine that cannot work. Doesn’t Target realize that dead people do not shop? I guess not.

Change.org has a petition: Petitioning Target :Remove homeopathy products for asthma or other life threatening illnesses and review efficacy of treatments before selling them  in an attempt to convince Target to stop selling ineffective therapies for a potentially fatal illness.

Target has responded:

We’ve taken these comments very seriously, so thanks for taking the time to let us know about your concerns with our merchandise.

We appreciate your feedback. We’ve documented your thoughts and we’ll share them with our leadership and our Merchandising team for review.

Interesting that merchandising is responsible for their medical products. I wonder if they have medical expertise on the team? I suspect not. At least they take comments seriously, if not offering ineffective pseudo-medications.

Target may not care about offering effective medicine for potentially fatal diseases but they care about their “service commitment to you.” So complain about their service commitment.

To sign the petition, go to Change.org.

Points of Interest: 1/18/2014
Points of Interest: 1/16/2014

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