Truth in advertising – medications

Did you see the news report that  the Federal Court found a claim by the makers of Nurefen to be misleading and deceptive?    It seems that Nurofen’s manufacturer, Reckitt Benckiser​, ran an advertising campaign saying Nurofen (basically ibuprofen) gave faster and more effective relief from headaches than Panadol (made by GlaxoSmithKline), or paracetamol, despite there being no real scientific evidence to support it.

The claim by Nurofen’s makers was based on a single clinical trial in 1996, which found that a dose of ibuprofen​, the active ingredient in Nurofen, was more effective than a single dose of paracetamol in the treatment of certain headaches.  However, other trials had been unable to replicate this result, and the authors of three analyses had concluded that no authoritative comparison was possible in the present state of scientific knowledge

Hence, the judge concluded that it was misleading or deceptive  for Reckitt to claim that ibuprofen (Nurofen) provides faster and more effective relief from pain caused by common headaches  than does paracetamol (Panadol).

Sounds fair enough to me.  However, it interests me that so many of us prefer the branded products.   Both paracetamol and ibuprofen are available as “generics” on the supermarket shelves, and so far as I’m aware, contain the same active ingredients as the branded products.   But I guess that when it comes to medications, we like the assurance of a brand name, and so are willing to pay extra for that.

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What concerns the “First World”!

I suppose junk emails, or at least emails with unwanted promotions, are part of modern life, but I actually read some of the emails I receive about cruising, notwithstanding that we have no immediate intention of taking another one any time in the near future.  The cruising “cult” (may I call it that?) has a strange fascination for me.  I tend to associate it with a certain type of person, although I am aware that generalities in this regard, like most generalities, are often misplaced.

Yes, cruising obviously is a “first world” pastime.   But a lot of people have been on one or more cruises, so what are the cruise lines doing to keep the regulars coming back?  Well, some of them are here!

Things like bigger ships, even more emphasis on food, different experiences.

But look at the comments.  One was as follows:   “Too many people on ships are dressing like tramps letting it all hang out. Carnival is disgusting. They have no shame to sit down at dinner looking like trash.”

Then further down is the comment that, “You also get the Bali crowd who wear their best Sunday flip flops to dinner”!

Ah, life is tough!

Lorne

Most years, we only get to Lorne for our January break.   So it’s always interesting to see what’s changed over the previous 12 months.  However, generally the changes are only incremental.

There are almost invariably changes in the retail scene.   Shops come and go, as do restaurants.

This year, the Arab restaurant – a Lorne institution – has closed and its premises are unoccupied.   I heard that the landlord had terminated the lease because of arrears in the rent.

 

Westpac have closed their branch, leaving only an ATM machine, and the 2nd-hand bookshop has gone, too.

 

 

 

 

 

The solar operated rubbish bins are new, too (I think).   These are an interesting concept:   apparently they have a greater capacity because using a solar-powered motor, they compact the rubbish.

One thing hasn’t changed:  the traffic congestion!   The agapanthus are still here, too.

 

Trip Advisor and “The Shed”

I often look at TripAdvisor’s reviews, and have posted a reasonable number myself.   I also like to think that I understand the art of reading reviews on TripAdvisor (and elsewhere) and sorting out the ones that can be relied on and those that aren’t so reliable.  In particular, I distrust “1-time posters”, and I look for recurring themes in the reviews.

It seems that TripAdvisor has procedures to protect against “fake” reviews, but these appear not to be foolproof!    Apart from the issues with Meriton, it’s been reported that a non-existent restaurant rose up the rankings to become TripAdvisor’s number 1 restaurant in London!

Supposedly the person behind this is called Oobah Butler, and it appears that he’s written the story behind this  here.  The story has certainly been  reported in the media and here).

It seems that TripAdvisor were asked for comment, and Butler reports that they said, “Generally, the only people who create fake restaurant listings are journalists in misguided attempts to test us.  As there is no incentive for anyone in the real world to create a fake restaurant it is not a problem we experience with our regular community – therefore this ‘test’ is not a real world example.”

Indeed!    So TripAdvisor consign the fact that they were fooled to the “fake news” basket?

Disclaimer:   I haven’t independently verified any of what Oobah Butler says, but apparently this is an archived link to the TripAdvisor review as at existed at some stage, which seems to suggest that there’s at least some basis to his article.

Garage door

The garage door was clunking and was erratic in adhering to the “limits”, that is it sometimes banged against the stop  when going up or down, instead of at the programmed point.

The service guy told us that the mechanism that sets the limits was worn and couldn’t be repaired so the only option was to get a complete new motor.   Somewhat reluctantly, we agreed to this and in due course the brand new motor arrived and was installed.  Needless to say, technology has moved on, so we also got a new chain mechanism.   However, the results are great:  everything is much quieter and smoother.

As he was leaving the technician offered me a word of advice:   the mechanism needs to be serviced every year or so.    The reason for the wear in the old motor was because the various components, such as the door springs as well as the operating chain, had got out of alignment, thus putting extra stress on the control mechanism.

Lesson learned:   devices such as this need to have a little loving care now and then!

Choice at the ATM

The bank has been renovated, and along with the  ramps and “accessibility” features come new ATMs.   One of the machines had a sign on it to the effect that it “offered” a wider choice of denominations.

A nice idea, I thought.  It would save me choosing a withdraw amount that forced the machine to dispense some $20s as well as $50s.    So I selected a withdrawal amount of $210, wondering what I would be offered.   “Offered”?   Nup, no choices provided at all, as there was no option to provide any input at all into what notes might be “offered” (remember, when ATMs first arrived they sometimes allowed for this?)   I had no choice but to accept the 4 $50s and one $10 that emerged.

Perhaps the word “offers” on the sign ought to be changed to “dispenses”?    Or perhaps the screen that enables a choice is still “work in progress”?

UPDATE:    I need to come clean!    Yes, I now see that a choice of notes is offered – but only if you select the appropriate option at the bottom right hand corner of the last screen (which is where you’re asked if you want a receipt).   I had been expecting that a choice would be offered automatically (as it was when ATMs were first introduced), but, no, this isn’t the case – and in fact the option to select a choice of notes isn’t immediately apparent because you’re also looking at other things on the same screen.    But, for all that, now that I’ve worked it out, I’m fine with it.

100 Restaurants

The so-called “delicious.100” magazine fell out of the Sunday paper.   It supposedly lists what it regards as the top 100 Victorian restaurants, listed in order from 1 to 100.   I notice that I blogged about the equivalent publication last year.

It’s not clear how the list was compiled, and it’s not specifically stated that the reviewers (who are named) actually dined at all the restaurants listed.   There’s a suggestion  that one of the factors was popular vote (but I didn’t persevere long enough find the link to this).     Maybe the listing was at least to some extent compiled from other sources (although of course I can’t say for sure).

Hence, to my mind it doesn’t have the credibility of the Good Food Guide.   Just the same it’s an interesting “read”, and the task of actually listing restaurants in order of rank is certainly ambitious.      I admit (as I’ve done before) that (top) restaurants aren’t really my scene, although I like to read about them if only  to make sure that none of the restaurants that I do like have made it!   And it’s interesting to know the sort of dishes that these restaurants serve (often not my “style”).

This year the publication is stated to be compiled in “partnership” with Uber Eats.  Strange indeed, because it’s hard to imagine that any of the really good restaurants would condescend to allow their food to be delivered!  But perhaps the readers of this guide are likely to use Uber Eats when they’re not eating out?