But this certainly doesn't guarantee that quackery won't be practiced. One only needs to look at what Warner-Lambert did with the promotion of Neurontin. They hired a PhD scientist who soon started to tell docs all kinds of false information and claims about Neurontin. He finally blew the whistle and not only did Pfizer, the parent company, have to pay a $ 430 million fine, they also pleaded guilty to criminal charges involving the false promotion of a drug.
The penalty was too weak. No one went to jail, and the only real way to deter white collar criminals is to send them to the slammer. It is more effective with them than it is with blue-collar criminals. To your point: I agree that the FDA approval process isn't any guarantee, but it helps quite a bit. The alt-med quacks can, and so, say whatever they want.
That, to me, is far worse than some Joe Blow running around the country claiming his tonic water will cure cancer, AIDS or whatever.
I'm not so sure about that. The purveyor of the "AIDS isn't caused by HIV" quackery managed to convince a lot of African governments, and as a result there are millions of people who will die. Alt-med in its various forms is a huge industry. In any case, two wrongs don't make a right.