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Quackonomics!: The Cost of Unscientific Health Care in the U.S. ...and Other Fraud Found Along the Way

Fake news is bad enough. We cannot allow ourselves to be buried in fake medicine.

This book looks at quackery practiced under the cover of CIM (Complementary and Integrative Medicine). Why? To inform the consumer that there is a better way to spend their health-care dollar. How? By a better understanding of science and the scientific method.

A brief summary of the development of science is given, from early Greece, through the Dark Ages, and into the twenty-first century. This history emphasizes that the development of the scientific method originated purely in Western culture, contrary to other interpretations by Islam and the Chinese. It traces the origins of anti-science in the United States. The placebo effect, an essential part of the science of medicine, is clearly defined.

The absence of science is documented in twenty-five examples of CIM from acupuncture to homeopathy, from herbal medicine to aromatherapy, from spiritual healing to iridology. The history and the departure from science are emphasized. The weakness of the literature supporting these frauds is cited as are the politics of reimbursement. A section on marijuana stresses the need to take a hard look at the perils of legalization.

While researching the cost of unscientific health care (over $40 billion), I discovered quackery embedded in the system (over $100 billion), including fraud in the scientific literature, fraud in the medical profession, in Big Pharma's pricing of drugs and hospital billing fraud. The extent to which legislatures are influenced by the money pharma spends on campaigns on an annual basis was tabulated. It exposes the weakness of our response to the opioid crisis.

This book will be of interest to everyone in the United States interested in the quality of their health care. The aim is not to be all-inclusive but to stimulate national dialogue.

--Ethan L. Welch M.D.

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