You couldn’t make it up (in a good way)

Ha ha ha ha ha ha

From the MHRA website, via Ben Goldacre’s miniblog:


Advertising complaint – Duchy Herbals Echina-Relief Tincture and Duchy Herbals Hyperi-Lift Tincture – Consumer advertising – January 2009

A member of the public complained to the MHRA about the advertising of Duchy Herbals Echina-Relief Tincture and Duchy Herbals Hyperi-Lift Tincture which appeared on the Duchy Originals website from 24 January 2009. The complainant alleged that the advertising suggested that the products had been assessed for efficacy and was therefore misleading.

The MHRA upheld the complaint. Nelsons, the registration holder, on behalf of Duchy Originals agreed that they would amend their advertising and remove claims of efficacy from their website and all future advertising. Following delays in implementing the changes, Nelsons provided additional training to Duchy Originals staff on the legislative requirements.

MHRA advice
These two products have been registered under the Traditional Herbal Medicines Registration Scheme as required by Directive 2004/24/EC on Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products. The MHRA, as UK regulator, is required to assess applications for traditional herbal medicinal products for safety, quality and evidence of traditional use. Efficacy of the product based on scientific data is not assessed, although the MHRA is required to refuse registration if efficacy on the basis of long established traditional use is not plausible.

Date case raised: 26 January 2009
Date action agreed: 30 January 2009
Date of publication: 20 March 2009


Or:    Quack-ity quack …reality attack...

Or even:  “Quack-ity quack – facts strike back?”

Now, I don’t know if the “member of the public” who complained was one of the Bad Science Posse, but whoever that man or woman is, I take my hat off to them.



4 Responses to “You couldn’t make it up (in a good way)”

  1. The Girl Says:

    How do they think they can actually claim efficacy in the first place? I don’t understand.

  2. Alan Henness (zeno) Says:

    I wish we knew what the offending words were. I’ve looked at all the caches I know of, but can’t find anything old.

  3. Rob Hinkley Says:

    I think the member of the public was me. The offending claim was made on a blog post at the Duchy website which read:

    “Duchy Herbals Echina-Relief Tincture and Duchy Herbals Hyperi-lift Tincture are the first UK produced herbal tinctures to be approved under the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive laid out by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) … The directive means that the two tinctures have been assessed – in terms of their safety, quality and efficacy – by the UK regulatory authorities.” (my emphasis).

    I wrote to MHRA pointing out Duchy’s claim and asking whether the tinctures really had been assessed for efficacy as this clashed with my understanding of the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products’ requirements.

    When the Traditional Herbal Medicine registration was introduced there was concern that people might – not unreasonably – think that a medicine which had been approved for sale would have been shown to be effective. If someone working for a company which has been through the registration process could think this (as I assume the writer on the Duchy website did), then how many members of the public are falling into the same trap?

  4. Gusfoo Says:

    I think the member of the public was me.


    Good work, that man!

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