Anaximperator blog

Blogging against alternative cancer treatments

British Columbia gives naturopaths right to prescribe drugs

Naturopaths in B.C. will now be able to prescribe drugs to their patients, making them the first alternative health-care providers in the country to do so.

Dr. Christoph Kind, president of the B.C. Naturopathic Association, hailed the government move.

“Now we have the authority to be able to work with the pharmacy, with the pharmacists,” he said. “It will also allow better co-management with other heath-care providers, including medical physicians, so I think all in all it’s going to enhance the care that patients get in B.C.”

Naturopaths would be required to complete a new certification course before being allowed to prescribe drugs including hormones, vitamins, minerals and amino acids, Kind said.

Naturopathic medicine, practised by more than 300 registered naturopaths in B.C., has been a regulated health profession in the province since 1936.

11 responses to “British Columbia gives naturopaths right to prescribe drugs

  1. anaxymperator April 12, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    I expect some people to be happy about this, but not me.

  2. skepticallychallenged April 13, 2009 at 12:32 am

    I agree. This is scary and I hope we don’t see other provinces following suit. If these decisions aren’t being based on science and evidence, then one can’t help wondering what they are based on…

  3. beatis April 13, 2009 at 12:43 am

    We are always being told that alternative treatments will make health care cheaper, but I don’t see how repeatedly unproven treatments can make this happen. Seems to me it will only be more expensive. First, people try alternative treatments and when they don’t work, they’ll need to have conventional treatment. That’s extra cost in my opinion. And there is always the risk of people receiving standard treatment too late, which can also cause the cost of healt care to rise because in a number of cases they need extra care to be patched up again. Just read on SBM what naturopaths say about treating hypertension:

    Edit: link added

  4. jli April 13, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    First, people try alternative treatments and when they don’t work, they’ll need to have conventional treatment.

    And furthermore the delay in onset of treatment may in some instances make the conventional treatment even more costly than the one that would have been given in the first place.

  5. Rich April 14, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    “To treat hypertension, naturopaths might counsel patients on eating a healthier diet. Following the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet includes lowering sodium intake and eating nutrient-rich foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, and eating a diet rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium, and fiber. Again, prominent national studies have shown the DASH diet has been shown to be as effective as drugs at reducing blood pressure

    Well, real doctors make those same recommendations. The last sentence is simply false. DASH is not as effective as medication for many hypertensive patients. For some, sure, for others, not at all.”

    — Certainly, if you can avoid taking a drug and causing potential side-effects it is preferred.

    “Naturopathy is modern shamanism, and should be banned.”

    — If real doctors are making the same recommendation, it must be for good scientific reason. Trying to have it both ways a little bit.

    My recommendation is… if you have a problem, any problem, look it up… get some more info on it:

    I don’t have much research on hypertension. A lot of people complain that the medical profession gives out drugs too often. This is understandable though… you have a cold, you go to the doctor, he refuses you antibiotics, you find a new doctor.

    Not all doctors are created equal, or will take the time to talk to you about nutrition or other problems. These guys are often too busy to talk about preventive medicine.

    That people often don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables is known, and don’t exercise enough as well. Fixing a dietary imbalance and exercise deficiency isn’t bad advice (Shamanism). It may or may not fix the problem.

    Potassium balances Sodium, and Magnesium balances Calcium. If you don’t eat enough fruits(Potassium), you will probably be high in Sodium. If you eat alot of dairy, and not many vegetables, you will probably be low in Magnesium.

    This is known by doctors, but they often don’t tell you the meanings behind your “Quest Diagnostic” tests. Most people don’t care, and don’t want to know as well.

    Often times these naturopaths do read the nutritional studies, etc… but don’t tell you, and seem like Witchdoctors. Quite often they give you bad advice as well; they don’t have 6 years of medical school.

    Sometimes they pickup on patterns though, and latest research and do miraculous things. More often they don’t though. I certainly wouldn’t have one as my Primary Care Physician. But sometimes it’s good to get a second opinion, even if it’s from one of these guys.

  6. evenarsenicisnatural April 15, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    Great discussions to be found here in regard to naturopathic ‘physicians’ :

  7. mfrisone April 16, 2009 at 2:04 am

    My comments are twofold: first, hormones, vitamins, minerals and amino acids are not drugs, and second if Naturopathic physicians prescribe drugs they can no longer rightly call themselves Naturopaths.

  8. jli April 16, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    hormones, vitamins, minerals and amino acids are not drugs

    Yes and no. It depends on the context. For instance B12-injections may be relevant in patients with pernicious anemia. Insulin is well known in treatment of diabetes and so on.

    if Naturopathic physicians prescribe drugs they can no longer rightly call themselves Naturopaths.

    That´s a valid point. They tend to be against the pharmaceutical industry and the use of its products.

  9. ryan May 8, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Glad to hear people bashing on Naturopathic Physicians. You all have no idea what your talking about and sound like idiots!!! Combination of Eastern and Western medicine is the best way to go. Just to let you know Naturopathci Physicians go to 4 years of medical school. Get your facts straight before you bash something. I know many cases where naturopathic medicine has saved a life. But you all go ahead and keep on being jerk-offs and dont be open to anything new because you already know everything!!!

  10. jli May 9, 2009 at 6:48 am

    Naturopathci Physicians go to 4 years of medical school.

    It doesn´t seem that they learned enough there to treat these -> patients correctly.

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