challenged about the lack of scientific evidence supporting what
they espouse, promoters of quackery may claim that they lack the
money to carry out research. However, preliminary research does
not require funding or even much effort. The principal ingredients
are careful clinical observations, detailed record-keeping, and
long-term follow-up "to keep score." Advocates of hair
loss cures often never do any of these things. Most who clamor for
research do so as a ploy to arouse public sympathy.
The last thing they want is a scientific test that could prove
them wrong. If a scientific study is performed and comes out negative,
proponents invariably claim that it was conducted improperly or
that the evaluators were biased. Proponents of so-called "natural"
products (such as dietary supplements and herbs) often complain
that funding is difficult or impossible to obtain because the products
cannot be patented and therefore drug companies have little incentive
to study them. That may be true for some products, but it is certainly
not true for all. Consider ordinary aspirin. Although not patentable,
it has been subjected to thousands of published studies.