Confessions of a Quackbuster

This blog deals with healthcare consumer protection, and is therefore about quackery, healthfraud, chiropractic, and other forms of so-Called "Alternative" Medicine (sCAM).

Friday, May 13, 2005

Bad medicine (Matthias Rath)

Posted to the web on: 19 April 2005
Bad medicine


Matthias Rath has achieved a product salesman’s dream — public endorsement of his merchandise by the health minister. But at what cost to SA is the minister allowing herself to be turned into a merchant of Rath’s concoctions?

Adverts published by the Rath Foundation claim antiretrovirals are poisonous. Yet in, Minister defends vitamin guru’s views on AIDS, nutrition (April 13), the minister defended this charlatan’s business and asserted that the foundation was supporting government’s anti-AIDS programmes.

It increasingly seems Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang’s position as head of health care is equivalent to a convicted wife-batterer being in charge of a gender sensitivity programme. The minister is supposed to be the leadership figure in the antiretroviral roll-out. Yet she loses no opportunity to undermine the success of this programme by questioning the value of antiretrovirals.

This latest example is particularly shocking.

Rath is wanted in Germany on criminal charges. Not only do his products not cure AIDS, but they are considerably more expensive than antiretrovirals. A month’s supply of Rath’s vitamins will cost a patient about R185 a month, compared with the cost to the state of about R100 for antiretrovirals.

The minister should consider carefully her legal position in relation to this matter, because there have been calls to prosecute Rath for misleading the public for personal gain.

Dianne Kohler-Barnard
Dianne Kohler-Barnard
Democratic Alliance spokesperson on health
Democratic Alliance spokesperson on health