• Report: #1060332

Complaint Review: MDjunction.com

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  • Submitted: Wed, June 19, 2013
  • Updated: Wed, June 19, 2013

  • Reported By: vallan — Alabama
MDjunction.com
Internet USA

MDjunction.com MDjunction.com Calmare SCAM Internet

*Consumer Comment: Same scam start again

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: I beg YOUR pardon!

*Author of original report: I beg your pardon?

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Vallan is right - don't believe things on forums - including what he says on a forum!

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A word of warning to a to anyone suffering RSD and/or CRPS.

The website MDjunction appears to be colluding with promoters of a scam medical device to deceive potential patients.

The device is called the "Calmare" -- aka "scramber therapy," "MC-5A," "TEMPR" -- and is NOTHING but an ordinary TENS device (check FDA filings for further information) that is promoted using outrageous, unproven claims about its ability to "scramble" nerve signals and thereby block pain.

They even claim that it can "retrain" the brain so that the therapy, in effect, "heals" the pain.

It is all patent nonsense.

The device was "invented" by a character named Giuseppe Marineo -- a fraud who has claimed at various times to possess a "MD,DSc," "MD,PhD," and/or a "PhD" degrees yet who likely has never even attended college.

There is absolutely NO scientific research that would support any claim that the device can send a "scrambled" signal along any nerve.

The company that sells the device -- Competitive Technologies -- is a "penny stock" bordering on bankruptcy despite marketing the device for over four YEARS via scientific meetings such as ASCO as well as via popular outlets such as USAToday. They even went so far as to make a ridiculous infomercial with Terry Bradshaw which can be found on Youtube.

Now it appears their desperation may have driven them -- or perhaps the few clinics offering the therapy -- to infect various pain message boards with spam postings promoting the device.

In MDjunction's case, group leaders "jpcrps" and "cfthb" appear to have been engaged in some fashion to facilitate the scam:

http://www.mdjunction.com/forums/reflex-sympathetic-dystrophy-discussion/medicine-treatments/10695639-calmare-therapy/

They have censored all posts criticizing the device as well as posts complaining of the device's ineffectiveness.

They also engage in "bumping" -- posting for no other purpose than to keep the thread at the top of the list.

Reading their comments makes it pretty obvious that these people aren't doing this out of the kindness of their hearts.

My own efforts have managed to get these con artists as well as the device banned from a few pain forums.

The main point here is -- don't believe anything posted on a pain forum, no matter how "real" and sincere it might seem. There is no way to know who these posters are or what their motivation is.

And it can be said for ANY therapy -- talk it over with your family MD BEFORE you spend any money.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/19/2013 08:44 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/MDjunctioncom/internet/MDjunctioncom-MDjunctioncom-Calmare-SCAM-Internet-1060332. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author 1Consumer 2Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Same scam start again

AUTHOR: BillyJoeBob - ()

Calmare is taking yet anothr run at success the medical field. The studies are in, and it failed. We all know of the hundreds of undocumented success stories that are told through the faces of four people. What is the truth. Well being a true RSD/CRPS patient, I have been actually warned away from wasting time and money on this by a Doctor who has one in his practice. The Calmare scandal is taking another run at the internet. We see the same stories and any rebuttle is deleted and muted by the and burried pages deep in google, by bullcrap wordpress websites with no foundation.

The studies show there are holes in the story. Any early type one patient can go into pain free periods. It's normal. This scam is run by bogus fundraising events on gofundme and BS doctor interviews on an online arena, by one person, who by the way owns stock. He also claims to be cured. As a patient, that is in 24/7 suffering, there is no worse shame then giving us false hope. To much propoganda to even consider this to be anything more then just another shot by a shady, to say the least, executive team at CTI. Do your homework.

At first I was a patient looking for help. My first thoughts were what a shame to give patients false hope. In the end I find the truth to be just a bunch of stock pumping. This entire thing was a waste of time and a great deal of stress for me, and I think I have suffered enough already. Shame on any doctor who involves themselves in this sham. You should really look at the lives you hurt with false hope, not the ways to recover your losses on the equipment. I can buy an Empi 300 and some pads for under 500 and get the same if not better and safer treatment at home. How dare you pump this as real, when you know that it is just glorified tens unit. 

I will finish up by saying these things are fact and can be proven. I challange you to come at  me with lies, give me a reason to put you out there and expose you. 

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#2 REBUTTAL Individual responds

I beg YOUR pardon!

AUTHOR: SloRian - ()

 

Vallan - in your first paragraph in the "I beg your pardon?" post, you said you tried to post nothing but links.  This is just completely untrue, and you know it, and the admins can prove it because they have your posts.  The links were fine, and the admins said they were fine.  That wasn't the problem.  The problem was all the innuendoes and half-truths and outright falsehoods that you posted that accompanied the links, and your callous indifference to the board community and their needs and the stated purpose of the board.  The links were NOT removed until you were banned from the board after due process and in keeping with board rules.  

Re MDJunction being "fraid" [sic] of people seeing the links - they were certainly NOT afraid that people would see your links - indeed, quite the opposite - they welcomed them and said so, and you can still see that on the thread (although your posts were removed after you were banned).  More defamatory, false statements from you, and it's easy to show you're wrong - look at the thread.

Re your "The fact is that the board simply censors ANYONE who posts ANYTHING critical of the device."  Again, as I said in my first post, this is completely untrue, and can be easily shown to be untrue.  Anyone who goes to the two Calmare threads on the board will see both positive and negative posts about the treatment from a variety of posters.  Why do you keep saying this when you know it's false, and it's easy to show it's false?  It's very wrong of you to do this.

Re your statement that it's not covered by insurance - again, this is untrue.  More and more insurances are starting to cover this treatment.  I wrote a 5-page letter to Health Net, our insurance company when my daughter got the treatments, asking them to cover the treatment since it works well for many people and would save them millions of dollars on treatments and medications (my daughter was scheduled for a spinal cord stimulator, which would cost at least $60,000, plus a lifetime of drugs and other treatments.  Instead, we paid $2500 for Calmare and she is in remission and off of drugs completely).  It took a while, but two weeks ago, I got a letter from Health Net, and they covered it.  And it's not just Health Net - there are other companies that are covering it.  Not every company will, but more and more are.  Yet you keep saying this, despite the fact that you have no proof.  That is really wrong.

Re your "Indeed, why does anyone need to be a RSD victim to post? How do they prove that?"  Of course no one can prove anything on the internet.  Shall we all turn off our computers and go home?  Of course not.  We all just need to use our judgement.  As far as why someone needs to be an RSD victim to post - because that is the purpose of this particular board, and when people sign up, they agree to abide by the board rules.  You said you did NOT have RSD, and despite this, they let you post quite a bit before finally banning you, and then only because of the continuing problems with the tenor of your posts.  If you had shown respect to the community, I'm sure they would have let you keep posting.  Multiple members were complaining about you, and you were finally banned, and only then were your posts removed.  It's pretty arrogant of you to complain about people with a horrible disease wanting a support community with people dealing with the same problem.  

In summary - your posts continue to be filled with innuendoes, half-truths, and outright falsehoods, and it's easy to demonstrate this.  They malign a treatment for a horrible disease that has helped many people.  You even brag about shutting down discussions on this treatment, when you should be ashamed of doing this - people should at least have the opportunity to make up their own minds about it.  Go ahead and post your links - no one has ever complained about that, and information is important - just drop the innuendoes and half-truths and falsehoods that go along with the links, and abide by board rules for whatever board you sign up with.

And I would like to state again that I have told the leaders at MDJunction that I will provide access to my daughter's medical records to them - both her regular doctor and her Calmare doctor - if they need that information to combat people like you. Her regular pain doctor can verify both her diagnosis and the fact that she is now in remission, and he has no connection with her Calmare doctor.  I will also provide proof to them that Health Net has covered the treatments.  Now would you please stop with your know-it-all attitude and the innuendoes and half-truths and falsehoods, and provide your links in a manner in line with whatever board you're posting on (which you agree to do when you sign up with a board, btw).  You have useful information, but so do other people, and it's wrong to try to shut down discussions.

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#3 Author of original report

I beg your pardon?

AUTHOR: vallan - ()

I beg your pardon but I TRIED to post nothing but links but they were still REMOVED despite my not including any comment whatsoever with them.

For example, I tried to post a link to the most recent publication -- the ONLY blinded, randomized, and controlled study currently available -- by Dr. Campbell wherein he demonstrated that the calmare not only was NOT effective a controlling pain but it couldn't even be distinguished from a "nontherapeutic" sham.

That link was removed -- why?

Why would "MDJunction" be fraid any pain sufferer might see that?

Indeed, why does anyone need to be a RSD victim to post? How do they prove that?

I posted links to several blogs where REAL RSD sufferes documented their FAILURES with the device and the posts were all REMOVED.

The fact is that the board simply censors ANYONE who posts ANYTHING critical of the device.

How can posting FACTS about the device, the Italian con man that invented it, and the deceitful company that sells it be wrong?

Why would it be harmful to reveal that the Florida distributor of calmares -- Bert Bertman -- is an ex-con who only a few years ago got out of the pentientary after serving time for MULTIPLE counts of fraud involving a penny stock scam?

I would think a potential patient might like to have such information before deciding to pay 2-4 THOUSAND dollars for a treatment that ISN'T covered by insurance.

 

 

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#4 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Vallan is right - don't believe things on forums - including what he says on a forum!

AUTHOR: SloRian - ()

I am a member on MDJunction and was involved in the discussions with Vallan at MDJunction, and would like to set the record straight, as Vallan has said some things that are wrong.  Sadly, his falsehoods about Calmare will very likely lead to condemning some people to lifelong pain, so I hope he will reconsider his position.

 

1.  Re Vallan's "They have censored all posts criticizing the device as well as posts complaining of the device's ineffectiveness.".  This is so COMPLETELY wrong that I wonder he even said it.  If anyone goes to the Calmare threads at MDJunction, especially the first thread, they can read for themselves both positive AND NEGATIVE comments about the treatment.  Before Vallan showed up, we were having a courteous and balanced discussion of the treatment, where people shared both positive and negative experiences with it, and the moderators were fine with it.  

 

2.  Re Vallan's claim that Calmare clinics/company is "infect[ing] various pain message boards with spam postings promoting the device."  I'm guessing that he's referring to me, because I'm the one that started the thread on Calmare because of how well my daughter responded to it.  My daughter had RSD, a horrible pain disorder, for almost a year before we found out about Calmare and decided to try it, because prestigious institutes like the Mayo Clinic are looking into it.  She is now in remission and out of pain, and is growing stronger daily.  When we got back from the treatments, I wanted to share this information with other RSD patients, because it took hundreds of hours of internet research before we found even a single mention of Calmare, and I wanted to at least have a mention of this treatment available for other people to consider.  This treatment is non-invasive and painless, and the doctors using it have very good success with RSD patients.  However, I found that for some strange reason, discussions about Calmare often get shut down, and that's why it's hard to find a mention of it on discussion boards.  This made me furious, because I know first-hand how horrible this disease is, and it's horrible for people to shut down discussions of it so that people looking at discussion threads don't hear about it and can't even look into it for themselves.  Anyway, that's why I've persisted in writing about Calmare, despite the efforts of people like Vallan.  I think that people should at least be able to hear about it and make their own decisions.  

I don't receive any benefit at all from sharing my positive experience with Calmare, except the hope that it might save at least one other person from RSD, a disease so horrible that its nickname is "the suicide disease" because people with RSD will sometimes take that tragic way out because they can't take the horrible, body-wide, 24/7 lifetime pain anymore.  On the definitive medical pain index, RSD pain is higher than any other type of pain.  I can't prove that I'm teling the truth, since it's just an internet forum, but I have told the administrators at MDJunction that I would be more than happy to provide them contact information to both my Calmare doctor and my regular pain doctor (non-related to Calmare) to verify both my daughter's condition and the fact that she is now in remission due to Calmare treatments.  So Vallan is wrong; I am no spammer.  I hope he will seriously consider what he is doing, and the terrible ramifications that it has, and choose to stop trying to shut down Calmare discussions, and let people be aware of this treatment and decide for themselves.

 

4.  Re the "bumping" - I post periodically to keep people updated on my daughter's progress.  She came out of remission after 3 months (this is typical) and then had 4 more treatments and is back in remission.  And yes, I partly post to bump the topic, because there is only one thread on it, and there are multiple threads on other treatments, and I want some other mother who is desperate about her daughter's terrible condition to be able to at least see ONE thread on the subject and do her own research and make her own decision.

 

5.  Re the group leaders facilitating the "scam" - what Vallan doesn't share is that this discussion board is for RSD patients and their caregivers, and Vallan, by his own admission, is NEITHER.  His posts were allowed until multiple members started complaining about them, and then finally begging the leaders to stop him.  This is a support group for people with a terrible disease, and he was being really obnoxious and causing a lot of stress, and the leaders dealt with it over a period of time.

 

6. Re Vallan's "don't believe anything posted on a pain forum, no matter how "real" and sincere it might seem. There is no way to know who these posters are or what their motivation is."  I agree, as long as he changes "pain forum" to "ANY forum", including this one.  I mean, why believe anyone, including Vallan?  And what is really strange to me is why Vallan is so strongly against this treatment - the ONLY times he posts on MDJunction are when Calmare comes up, and he ONLY posts negative things about Calmare, and he does NOT have RSD.  It's very strange - this is a rare disease, and an even rarer treatment.  He mentions motivation - what is his motivation?

 

So in summary - yes, we have to be careful to not believe things on ANY forum without doing some research.  And Vallan, you need to do more research, because you are wrong about this treatment.  One of the group leaders has a PhD in medicinal chemistry and was correcting some of your talking points, yet you told him he was wrong!?!  I suggest that you at least contact some of the doctors that provide this treatment and see if they will share some of their information with you.  And yes, go ahead and share some of the links you shared - that part was fine - but please stop the nasty innuendoes and conjectures that also filled your posts, and PLEASE stop trying to shut down discussions on it.  That is just tragic.  

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