Monday, March 06, 2006


There's been a lot of talk about Magnet Therapy Bandages now being on the NHS approved items list, and the company making them is crowing big style about how if the NHS has it on their prescribe list it must be "proven to work".

Unfortunately they are wrong, the list is simply produced by the pricing authority, it has NOTHING to do with proper clincal evidence done through proper clinical trials.

Ben Goldacre who writes the Bad Science column in the Gruniad was bemoaning the fact that, because magnets stick to things, you can't do a proper "blind test as those who don't have magnets in their bandages will notice when their bandage fails to stick to fridges etc.

I posted a suggestion on his Bad Science web site, scroll down to post 50 to see it, and I think he liked it (see post 55)

My suggestion is re-printed here, along with his comment, he re-quoted me, which is why my sugestion is in italics :

Ben Goldacre said,
March 6, 2006 at 5:31 pm

I think, having read the comments, I may have spotted a way to blind test magnetic bandages, in keyrawn’s post about the patent information, I quote

“the treatment of skin ulcers when the negative pole (sic) is placed adjacent a user’s flesh”

So the blind trial consists of two sets of bandages, where, to quote Doctor Who, you “Reverse the polarity” of the second set. According to the patent, these should not work, but the magnets will still stick to fridges etc.

pete, that is absolute bloody genius.

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