Newbie, etc… I’m actually in the UK and I am a skeptic. One of the topics that has been widely discussed in the UK is that of Jeremy Sherr. Jeremy Sherr has gone to Tanzania to treat PLWA with homeopathy. Just google for Sherr and you’ll find loads of stuff on UK blogs.
Sherr is an unreliable reporter of his own activities. At one point he was suggesting an unethical trial into homeopathic treatment of AIDS. He has mentioned that the trial is not carrying out was designed with help from the Nelson Mandela Medical Center in Durban (or Nelson Mandela Hospital as I’ve seen it styled). I wonder if he means the Nelson R Mandela Teaching Hospital?
My understanding is that South Africa has legislation very similar to the UK Freedom of Information Act. Could someone in SA help us get hold of a copy of the trial design? Yes, the interwebs are a wonderful thing, but I thought it best to ask those closer to.
Hello, and welcome to the forum!
We have put out some feelers and should be able to provide some feedback re your query within the week.
You are probably best off directing anything you find to Gimpy. Gimpy’s blog generates a lot more traffic than my rubbish blog.
A brief update: A request for information was faxed to the South African Medicines Control Council. As is perhaps typical of government departments, the telephones are left to ring without ever being answered, so a reply is still pending. I’ll post any interim progress here.
Update #2: Apologies for the delay. We’ve had some national holidays and a voting day in the immediate past, and Monday next week is a holiday too. The short of it is that we’ve had no reply from the MCC as yet, and will follow up next week.
Thanks for the update. You might be interested to see this:-
Update #3: After four requests for information from the MCC, there have been an equal number of verbal promises to supply the information but no actually useful reply. We’ll carry on prompting at regular intervals.
Welcome to the ponderous world of South African government departments.
Thanks. Understand the frustration. I’ve got precisely nowhere with my own investigations, but I suspect that out of the blue, NGOs and hospitals might regard me as an internet nutter/fruitcake. I’ve asked UK folks with better credentials than I have to do the academic-to-academic bit. I’ve not heard anything but I’ll wait a bit longer. From a UK angle, I can check out charitable donations to organisations promoting homeopathic treatment of HIV/AIDS in Africa and ask a lawyer about choking their funding.
My wife thinks I’m anal-retentive about this sort of thing. She doesn’t understand the African dimension. Oh sure, but http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iMSADKUeu3NMJIvudaIP9GqiXGHAD97VTJ400 would strike a note.
Ah, I’ve had a response from Professor Salim S. Abdool Karim. He says that The University of Kwa-Zulu Natal have had no dealings with Jeremy Sherr. When Sherr says…
When I was in South Africa 5 years ago, we had designed a very complex trial together with the Nelson Mandela hospital in Durban.
… he is either lying, the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal are lying or there is some other “Nelson Mandela hospital” in Durban that is invisible to teh interwebs.
I’ve had another response from UKZN, even more categorical in its denial. I’m contacting the awful Prof Kistnasamy, but I doubt that I’ll get any response…
Update #4: At present, we have despatched 14 requests for information to the MCC. We have not received any acknowledgement whatsoever, let alone any answer.
We will continue to request, a process that is now semi-automated…
Update #5: After the 29th (I kid you not) request for information, a written reply was finally forthcoming, specifically from the Registrar of Medicines who has authority in clinical trials. That was a week-and-a-half ago. The aforesaid reply advised that our request is being attended to and that we’d be informed of the outcome “in due course.”
On receiving nary a peep for more than a week, further prompting elicited a reply in which it is asserted that the Registrar’s office has no record of a trial application by a Jeremy Sherr involving homoeopathy and people living with Aids (PLWAs). It goes on to say that they would investigate further, given more details such as the site where the trial is being conducted.
Does anyone have such details reliably?
Thanks for trying.
I don’t think that it will be possible to get details of the trial design because I suspect that it may not exist except in Jeremy Sherr’s imagination.