Challenging misleading healthcare claims

Where to find misleading claims

You don't need to look very far — they are all around us:

  • Websites
  • National press
  • Local press, including free papers
  • Specialist magazines (eg those dealing with alternative therapies and psychics)
  • Leaflets dropped through your letterbox or handed out in the high street
  • High street shops (eg 'health food' shops, those selling chinese herbal medicines), either leaflets or in-store advertising
  • Local alternative therapy clinics (eg homeopaths, chiropractors), either leaflets or in-store advertising
  • Mail order catalogues
  • Radio and TV adverts

Look for statements that say things like:

  • "We treat…"
  • "People come to us with…"
  • "Our patients have found it useful for…"
  • "Our qualified therapists are highly experienced in…"
  • "We are consulted for many conditions…"
  • "We commonly see patients with…"

…or just a list of one or more medical conditions.

If there is no robust evidence of a therapy's efficacy and especially if it is scientifically implausible in the first place, any claim that it can be used to treat any medical conditions is questionable.

Where you find the claims and what the claims are will determine what you can do about them and who you complain to.

arroworangeRead How to complain to find out what to do next.

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