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The cruelest deception for a patient with chronic illness is the promise of a cure based on empty hope and no evidence. This is exactly what's has been happening online lately. Patients are being offered untested remedies through various forms of advertisement on the internet and therefore false hope.

In this way, vulnerable people are being increasingly exploited by the online promotion of such treatments. These so called cures are often very expensive and do not work, and are not based on scientific evidence.

Currently, there are now hundreds of websites offering hope to people who are desperate for a cure. Testimonials of the new medicines and treatments come from online adverts and chat-rooms that should not be trusted because they are only selling empty promises of curing the incurable.

The cures and treatments offered are not naïve and the results may be devastating. Some adverts offer stem cell treatments for brain disorders for tens of thousands of pounds while others sell cures for multiple sclerosis and cancers.

Experts and patient are trying to get tighter regulation to reduce these unfounded claims and cut down the trade.

Sure, it is tempting to believe personal stories of miracle cures, it gives us hope and energy to fight and move on but only tried, tested and approved methods should be used in any ailment.

Patients with incurable conditions find hope in short supply and will take anything that might help. This makes them vulnerable risk group for hoax treatments that are supported only by anecdote and rumour.

A new guide, called "I've got nothing to lose by trying it" has been published by Sense About Science with the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Motor Neurone Disease Association, Alzheimer's Society and Parkinson's Disease Society.

Its aims is to help patients tell the difference between beneficial remedies and bogus treatments.


I would like to see a law passed that would require all online medical claims be accompanied at all times by an article such as this one.