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DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: derekb.lowe@gmail.com Twitter: Dereklowe

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In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

In the Pipeline

« Another Zero-Palladium Delusion? | Main | GSK's Biotechy World »

July 1, 2010

"Doctor's Data": Telling the Truth and Getting Sued For It

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Posted by Derek

I wanted to call attention to some legal action that appears to be underway - no, not against me. This is Quackwatch being sued by an outfit called "Doctor's Data" (no link from me).

These people perform urine tests for toxic metals, and seem to cater to all sorts of alternative practitioners, many of whom I'd regard as misled at best and fraudulent at worst (see the list of medical board actions and lawsuits near the end of that link). The biggest issue seems to be that the test is administered under "provoked" conditions (after infusing some sort of chelating agent), but the reference values are for normal conditions. People are then told that they have high levels of toxic metals, need lots of therapy, and so on. . .

It looks to me like Quackwatch's Stephen Barrett has performed a real service by detailing this problem and bringing together a lot of widely scattered information about it. But Doctor's Data is suing him for defamation and seeking to have him remove all such material from his site (and not to post any such anywhere else in the future). I've donated to his legal defense fund and would ask that others consider doing the same.

Comments (12) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Snake Oil


COMMENTS

1. Curt Fischer on July 1, 2010 10:38 AM writes...

The antecedent of "these people" is a bit unclear. I had to read to the end of the last paragraph to figure out "these people" was Doctor's Data and not Quackwatch.

Permalink to Comment

2. Epistudent on July 1, 2010 5:45 PM writes...

It's always nice to see good bloggers raising awareness when lawsuits like this happen. It's a shame that they happen so frequently...

Permalink to Comment

3. sepisp on July 2, 2010 2:41 AM writes...

How is this not unauthorized practice of medicine? How can they have the impunity to sue while blatantly administering medical treatment (the chelation) without a license? I don't see a clinical qualification in their list, just clinical *laboratory* licenses. What is the FDA for if not for this, and why are they not taking action?

Permalink to Comment

4. Josh Bloom on July 2, 2010 5:15 AM writes...

I've read Barrett's writings on homeopathy (speaking of quackery). Right on the money. Just sent in a donation, despite being unemployed for 4 months.

Permalink to Comment

5. Anononymous BMS Researcher on July 4, 2010 8:05 AM writes...

I hope Quackwatch, for whom I have considerable respect, is in a jurisdiction with a strong anti-SLAPP statute and can countersue.

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6. opsomath on July 5, 2010 8:18 PM writes...

Dr. Lowe,

With all due respect, while in this particular case Quackwatch's criticisms of the target company are probably valid, I ain't paying that guy any money. He seems to have taken as his personal mission in life opposition to the entire ill-defined field of "alternative medicine."

Permalink to Comment

7. AutismNewsBeat on July 19, 2010 7:33 PM writes...

Opso, if by "alternative medicine" you mean "not yet proven", then you are right. But what's wrong with asking erstwhile health care providers to prove their methods are safe and effective? Do you have a specific case in mind where you believe Barrett was wrong?

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8. isles on July 20, 2010 5:10 PM writes...

I donated. I don't know why anyone would object to "alternative medicine" as a target. If it's "alternative," it's not "medicine."

Permalink to Comment

9. Lu-Lu on September 27, 2010 5:28 AM writes...

Many heavy metals BIND to tissues. They do not circulate in the blood, to be removed by the kidneys into the urine, except for maybe a few days to a couple weeks. After that, urine or blood can not reveal true poisoning or toxicity. Without provoked testing, you have no idea of the heavy metals burden--unless you were poisoned the day before the test. The reference level is non-provoked, because you shouldn’t have poisons your body can't remove.

Doctors Data toxic metals tests were especially useful as a GUIDE to how much mercury I had & how efficiently my body was eliminating it. This was supervised by a qualified professional--an ND who is NOT a quack. Mercury toxicity is a serious issue which most MDs don't take seriously. MDs don't have all the answers. There will always be charlatans, & many of them are MDs. Does Barrett write about them???

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10. Ed Holmes on April 22, 2012 9:37 AM writes...

Conventional medicine kills more Americans than alternative medicine. CDC reports 2,000,000 hospital admissions in 2011 for advserse reactions to prescription drugs and 1,600,000 deaths from prescription drugs the same year.
There has never been a death caused by prescription drugs.

Stephen Barrett, not a doctor, is a stale-dated, myopic old man. He is neither relevant nor important. He does not possess any requisite academics or expertise to comment on anything medical. His qualifications as a self-appointed expert have always been rejected in the courts. Doctors Data will win this case and hopefully Barrett infarcts himself into
oblivion.

Permalink to Comment

11. Ed Holmes on April 22, 2012 9:38 AM writes...

Conventional medicine kills more Americans than alternative medicine. CDC reports 2,000,000 hospital admissions in 2011 for advserse reactions to prescription drugs and 1,600,000 deaths from prescription drugs the same year.
There has never been a death caused by prescription drugs.

Stephen Barrett, not a doctor, is a stale-dated, myopic old man. He is neither relevant nor important. He does not possess any requisite academics or expertise to comment on anything medical. His qualifications as a self-appointed expert have always been rejected in the courts. Doctors Data will win this case and hopefully Barrett infarcts himself into
oblivion.

Permalink to Comment

12. Henry on November 15, 2012 5:41 AM writes...

Good look Doctor's Data! The analytics from DD are a good source of information. Stephen Barret arguments are very silly. He and most practitioners (including many naturophats) simply don't know how to interpret it.

Permalink to Comment

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