Sunday, December 3, 2017

#1932: Richard & Ernestine Markoll

Richard Markoll - we couldn't
locate anything verifiably Ernestine
One would expect that quacks, frauds and promoters of alternative medicine would have found ways to promote magnets as a miraculous cure for all sorts of ailments, and sure they have. There is, of course, no scientific basis or evidence to conclude that small, static magnets can relieve pain or influence the course of disease, and the magnets suggested by promoters of magnet therapy (a good survey here) do not even produce any significant magnetic field at or (much less) beneath the skin’s surface.

Richard Markoll and his wife Ernestine are, together with one David H. Trock, M.D., central promoters of the nonsense known as pulsed signal therapy (PST), through an outfit called Bio-Magnetic Treatment Systems (BMTS). Or at least they used to be: in 2001 they pled guilty to criminal charges in connection with a scheme involving pulsed magnetic therapy and fraudulent billing codes to seek payment from Medicare and other insurance plans for PST treatment with a device (Electro-Magnetic Induction Treatment System) that did not have FDA approval; more details here. The device in question was invented by Richard Markoll, who does not appear to have a medical license but is a graduate of the Grace University School of Medicine, a Caribbean medical school. Trock, who was formerly principal investigator for the Magnetic Therapy Center, has co-authored studies claiming that PST is effective for treating pain. It isn’t.

PST is still promoted, however, though apparently mostly for pets. Quackery, once released, is rarely contained again.

Diagnosis: Well, they were convicted, so that should be enough. Hopefully neutralized, but being convicted of a scam is not always enough to keep suckers at bay.

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