(08-20-2015, 08:36 PM)me50 Wrote: Things that can help a lot of people, IMHO, like the socks for neuropathy that has electrodes that help with the circulation and other things (again, so it has been said) but the FDA hasn't approved it (it has been used in Canada for 20 years I have been told....again, who knows if it is accurate or not) and the insurance companies will not pay for it.
There are a lot of things that are approved in some countries that are outright quackery. Sometimes, insurance will even pay for them.
For instance, homeopathy is legal in the US. It even has its own special rules and protections in the FDA act because an influential congressman was a quack. Note: it's still there 78 years later because our congress is too stupid and corrupt to take homeopathy out of the drug code.
The US also allows a lot of quack herbal and "natural" drugs disguised as dietary supplements. They make all kinds of false claims, but get away with it because they have the label that says "This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease." i.e. "All the stuff we just told you is a lie, but this makes it legal."
The US and other countries also do have some things that are probably effective but aren't allowed, sometimes for political reasons or because no one was willing to spend the money to get them approved.
However, let's not forget we also allow a lot of things to be approved that turn out to be ineffective or outright dangerous. I suspect one of these days, we're going to have something like the Thalidomide disaster but much worse.
I suspect we're also going to have some sort of disaster with some unapproved "natural" or herbal cure that has some hidden side effect long term.
"Approval" and studies are no guarantee. However, all drugs have some risks, especially the ones that actually do something. The ones that have been properly tested are a heck of a lot safer than the untested ones. Also a lot more likely to actually help.