Doctor who filed a SLAPP lawsuit against Dr. Steven Novella and SBM charged with deceptive advertising

Consumer Health Digest #15-21 by Stephen Barrett, M.D. who runs the Quackwatch web site just arrived in my inbox and contained some welcome news:

The Medical Board of California has charged Edward L. Tobinick, M.D. with advertising improperly that his clinic offers “revolutionary” and “breakthrough” treatment that can enable patients with strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, and other chronic neurological conditions to improve rapidly—often within a few minutes—after receiving his injections. Tobinick, who operates the Institute of Neurological Recovery (INR), with offices in Boca Raton, Florida and Los Angeles, California, has for many years offered to treat spine-related pain and various neurological conditions with Enbrel (etanercept), a drug that is FDA-approved for other purposes. He and several other authors have published many papers supporting his off-label use, but his work remains controversial. The accusation document states that the ads “contained misrepresentation of facts, were likely to mislead or deceive, created false or unjustified expectations, and/or make scientific claims that cannot be substantiated by reliable, peer reviewed, published scientific studies.” In 2006, he settled previous allegations related his marketing of Enbrel by agreeing to serve a year on probation. Last year, Tobinick filed a suit against Steven Novella, M.D. for criticizing his advertising claims.

This is likely to be welcome news to Dr. Novella, the Science Based Medicine organization, and other entities being sued by Dr. Tobinick. See my previous post on that Tobinick’s SLAPP lawsuit.

Tom Kirby, Georgia legislator and defender of cell clusters

Tom Kirby, Georgia representative district 114 has no idea what the phrase “human life” means but is still willing to legislate on the topic:

Ethical treatment of Embryos

We in Georgia are taking the lead on this issue. Human life at all stages is precious including as an embryo. We need to get out in front of the science and technology, before it becomes something no one wants. The mixing of Human Embryos with Jellyfish cells to create a glow in the dark human, we say not in Georgia. This bill is about protecting Human life while maintaining good, valid research that does not destroy life.

He appears to be against stem cell research. Which tells me his knowledge of biology and science in general is equivalent to the 2000 year old goat herders who wrote the book he venerates. What I find more disturbing is he appears to believe scientists are trying to create glow in the dark humans. Mr. Kirby may not be a danger to himself or others, and therefore not meet the legal definition for forced psychiatric commitment, but you’ve got to wonder how he manages to find his way home.

Anyone care to place a bet on whether or not he is for or against state sanctioned death penalty? Does he believe society should provide support for the brood mare, sorry, pregnant woman, and her children? I’m betting he’s for the former and against the latter. In other words: A typical know-nothing misogynistic “god fearing” asshole Republican.

H/T: Charles P. Pierce

Butthurt doctor threatens lawsuit

An invaluable source of medical information for the lay person is being sued in an attempt to suppress legitimate criticism.

Dr. Edward Tobinick seems to think litigation, rather than published peer reviewed studies, is the proper way to address criticism of his practices. Here’s wishing that Dr. Novella and SBM prevail so that cranks like Dr. Tobinick learn that frivolous lawsuits are a waste of time.

Update 2014-08-24: You can find more information and an easy way to donate to the defense of this SLAPP [here](http://www.theskepticsguide.org/legaldefense).
Update 2015-10-04: I just read, via the [Consumer Health Digest](http://lists.quackwatch.org/mailman/listinfo/chd_lists.quackwatch.org) mailing list that the lawsuit was dismissed by the court. Yay for freedom of speech and anti-SLAPP laws.