Can Copper Bracelets Relieve Pain? Bogus!
When I dropped off my prescription at the local pharmacy I was told it would be a 10 minute wait. I never have issues waiting, although when I am the only customer I sometimes wonder what it is the pharmacists get up to in the back-room. You would think that grabbing a box of non-controversial medication really shouldn’t take THAT long!
Looking through the aisles while waiting for my name to be called I came across the following product for sale:
The product immediately caught my interest, partially because such a shiny bracelet seemed out of place in a chemist!
Upon closer inspection I noticed that the packaging had an Rx (a common symbol for prescriptions) printed on the front. I found this perplexing as the product makes absolutely no claims anywhere on its packaging. The reverse of the packet merely warns that wearing copper can leave green stains on one’s skin; completely silent as to what this bracelet is actually meant to do.
My bullshit detector was in overdrive.
Upon Googling “copper bracelets” I found a myriad of sources that made the assumption that wearing a copper bracelet could reduce arthritic pain.
Now it made sense why the pharmacy had decided to place the bracelets amongst the products for elderly customers; old people with joint pain, a logical choice! With a bit more digging I found that the beneficial effects of a copper bracelet are fundamentally no different to a placebo (that is, the bracelets do NOTHING!).
Typically I live by the adage “caveat emptor” (buyer beware).
If someone is stupid enough to buy into pseudoscience then that person probably deserves a lighter wallet. However, something about this scenario just seemed down right dishonest. The product clearly has no medical claims on it, but is sold amongst real medical devices. It uses very misleading words (who the hell buys magic at a pharmacy?) to convey a sense of therapeutic relief to potential customers.
The vilest thing about this junk however, is that the bracelet is clearly aimed at a vulnerable class – elderly people in pain.
While I freely admit that a bracelet that makes no therapeutic claims is technically just a bracelet, I think someone really needs to assess the inventory at my local pharmacy (part of a national brand of pharmacies).
Trying to sell snake-oil to old people ranks up there with abusing any class of vulnerable people, it is a downright shitty thing to do.
How anybody with even a modicum of human decency would allow a product like this to grace their shelves is beyond me, especially when 30 seconds of research reveals that its implied claims (remember, this is just a bracelet according to the packaging) are complete and utter horse shit.