The Government has begun to study the therapies that can be found in the market and has already classified 73 as pseudosciences
The Ministries of Health and Science have just presented a website (coNpruebe.es) where, as they have explained, you can find truthful and accessible information on pseudo-therapies and pseudo-sciences. Furthermore, as part of the Plan against Pseudosciences, they have presented a package of actions for scientific culture and the promotion of critical thinking.
The communication campaign addresses issues such as the rejection of vaccines or the use of homeopathy, but also talks about climate change and astrology. The Minister of Health, Luisa Carcedo, explained that the intention is "to provide reliable sources of information not only for Health, but also for #science". However, except for a first pseudoscience filter, the web promises more than it really offers.
Good ideas with Expiration date?
Techniques without evidence. Right now, on the web, in addition to some posters and videos, you can access a report prepared by the Spanish Network of Agencies for the Evaluation of Technologies and Services of the National Health System in which it inquires whether the techniques with the intended health purpose have any scientific publication behind.
The results show that, of the 139 techniques analyzed, 73 do not have any scientific publication that supports their claims and, therefore, in the opinion of the two ministries, pseudotherapies can be considered directly. Initially, more than 50% fall under their own weight. Or, rather, because of his lack of it.
A very initial filter The report also explains (and the ministries emphasize) that the fact that there are publications related to the remaining 66 techniques does not imply that these techniques are “backed by scientific knowledge and that their efficacy and safety are endorsed”
Clarification is necessary because, strictly speaking, the report is very limited. It is a simple bibliographic filter that, although it serves to rule out more than half of the techniques studied, does not go into what is substantive: if those techniques make any kind of sense.
More actions The Government has presented a package of actions with measures that include scientific dissemination, sociological studies and the development of educational guides based on evidence. The problem is that, in general terms, we lack information to assess whether the Government Plan is going somewhere or not.
A plan with few weeks of expiration? As I said above, with the information that we have on the table there are two clear things: there are interesting ideas in the Government's proposals, yes; what there is not is time. It is not clear if coNpruebe.es will be fully operational before the elections, but due to the ambition of the project it seems unlikely.
The coming months will tell us if what we need is not a "Plan for the Protection of Health against Pseudotherapies", but a true state pact that allows these initiatives to continue in a situation as volatile as the current one.