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Thursday 5 January 2012

Homeopathy - winning the battle against the denialists!

This blog was first published at

Homeopathy is gradually winning the health debate! Homeopathy denialists, with their so-called 'skeptical' arguments, have for the last decade been trying to undermine homeopathy, but they are gradually being found out for what they are - an attempt to support drug-based, conventional medicine from competition - not only from homeopathy but from other CAM therapies. Foremost amongst the 'winning' arguments for homeopathy is that research in three key European nations have recently come out 'in favour' of homeopathy.

In Sweden, an attempt by the ConMed Establishment to prevent the practice of homeopathy was over-ruled by the Supreme Administrative court. This case began when a medical doctor, trained in homeopathy in the UK, used it in his practice. He was put on probation by the 'Medical Responsibility Board', but he appealed on the grounds that he had used homeopathy when the patient requested it, and after conventional treatment had been ineffective. After being sentenced in two lower courts, the doctor had been forbidden to use homeopathy - on the grounds that 'homeopathy is unscientific'. So this case shows the lengths that people will go to prevent patients gaining access to homeopathy, and that when the 'there is no evidence to support homeopathy' argument is examined, it is found to be entirely without substance.

In Switzerland, the situation was similar to that in Sweden, but on a much larger scale. Anti-homeopathy sources tried to prevent the use of homeopathy in their compulsory national health insurance system. After an exhaustive investigation that took several year to complete, the conclusion reached in the Health Technology Assessment report, recently published, on the effectiveness, appropriateness, safety and costs of homeopathy in health care was as follows:

"In conclusion we have established that there is sufficient supporting evidence for the pre-clinical (experimental) as well as clinical effects of homeopathy, and that in absolute terms, as well as when compared to conventional therapies, it offers a safe and cost-effective treatment.”

In Italy, a team of researchers evaluated the effectiveness of homeopathic treatment through 'standard objective public health indicators'. There is a summary of this research here, and this is what they found.

"In general, results were significant for the drug usage indicator: the population of homeopathic care users uses fewer drugs than the standard population. Furthermore, it can be seen that the number of drugs and the drugs expenditure reduce significantly after homeopathic treatment. Hospitalization indicators tended to favour patients who had received homeopathic treatment but were not always statistically significant". 

In other countries, like India, homeopathy is rapidly becoming the preferred medical therapy. This article explains that homeopathy, according to a survey conducted by the Indian government, is the number two preferred mode of treatment, after allopathy. And as the survey says, homeopathy costs just a fraction of conventional medical costs, and has no side-effects or adverse effects.

Even the UK government has refused to be brow-beaten by the homeopathy denialists. The House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee, in a 2010 report, led by the denialist and ex-MP, Evan Harris, and signed off by just 3 MPs, recommended that the NHS should stop spending money on homeopathy. The committee was able to do so by deciding to ignore completely the evidence presented to them by the ARH, and other UK homeopathy organisations. Despite this, the New Labour government, and more recently the Coalition government, have said they would not implement this recommendation, in favour of 'patient choice'.

Even so, the NHS continues to be dominated by the Conventional Medical Establishment, and there are still battles to be fought and won. The financial influence and industrial power of Big Pharma companies will ensure that this is so. For instance, throughout the country, local Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) are refusing to allow patients a choice of medical therapy when they are ill - and they do so on a similar basis - there is no evidence.... etc.

But homeopathy will win these battles for one very simple reasons - that in stark contrast to conventional medicine, homeopathy is a medical therapy that is entirely safe, and very effective.

And as a result, homeopathy is a medical therapy that people will want choose - when they have either personal experience of this, or they are given access to the information that demonstrates it.