Health Fraud and Other Trends in the EU


Valverde, J.L.

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Health Fraud and Other Trends in the EU addresses the theme of health fraud, misinformation, quackery and social determinants. Professionals in the health sciences sector, academia, law and business as well as government agencies share a responsibility to help consumers to protect themselves from deception and exploitation in health-related matters. The scientific process is essential for discovering truths and validating health claims and information. Quackery can be broadly defined as “anything involving unsubstantiated promotion in the field of health.” Quackery was once a commonly used term within the pharmacy and medical communities. However, an increasingly anti-scientific climate culminated in recent years which granted unprecedented legitimacy to all types of “health claims” that had not been scientifically proven to be effective and/or safe. In part, this was facilitated when professional magazines, journals and web pages published advertisements and articles promoting these unproven medications. Society and governments need to know the full extent of these practices and what organizations of health professionals and their members, consumer organizations, policy makers and politicians can do to reduce health fraud.