Snake oil and drugs

If you’ve ever dealt with Kevin Trudeau, chances are you were scammed. Trudeau is known for pushing the bounds of legality and decency, even a few times landing on the wrong side of the law. He spent time in prison for faking credit card applications and charging over $122K. And now he’s back to obliterate the infomercial airwaves with his book ??Natural Cures??. In fact, he’s so successful at selling the book it ranks right below ??Harry Potter?? on the ??New York Times?? bestseller list.

There’s a lot to Kevin Trudeau that’s admirable. He’s got guts and marketing savvy that rival the best. He started a mail order operation when he was _15_, yes that’s sophomore in high school age, that he says brought in over a million dollars. Not bad for the young entrepreneur. This guy could do a lot of good.

Except I don’t think he is. He’s on the airwaves against the will of the FTC(Federal Trade Commission), apparently by a loophole in the law. He’s known to exaggerate to the point of stretching the truth until it pops. Past clients of his infomercial production business were unhappy with his claims because they themselves had to answer to the FTC also.

So, why do I care about this? Anyone who’s read my blog entries knows that while I work for the pharma industry, I also believe that alternative and complementary medicines are very effective in relieving illnesses. (For the record, I’m not in the school of thought that believes that everybody in big pharma knows the cure to all diseases and is keeping them from us just to scam us for money. If I did, I wouldn’t be in the job I am now.) I’m also acutely aware that a lot of my colleagues would disagree. And some of the biggest pharma sharks now have yet another rich, slick marketing genius to point to and claim “snake oil!” He certainly makes a lot of alternative medicine practicioners look bad, even if those practicioners agree with the core principles of ??Natural Cures?? but think the details are way blown out of proportion.

Rather than shedding light on the subject, it really confuses the whole debate, all to promote someone’s business. Argh.

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