202 Matching Annotations
  1. Aug 2018
    1. . ‘no reliable evidence’ does not seem an accurate reflection of the body of evidence”;

      From an e-mail conversation with an employee of Cochrane Australia about this claim:

      Happy to give some background to this.

      Cochrane Australia was contracted by NHMRC as technical advisors to provide a methodological assessment of the NHMRC Homeopathy Review (a review of the evidence that was undertaken by a third party). The statement quoted below (with vital text omitted) comes from our technical report. It’s our understanding that our report was obtained through an FOI request by Brauer; it’s not publicly available.

      We addressed this issue last year when we were contacted by The Guardian, see https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/jun/30/homeopathy-company-investigated-over-ebook-advocating-treatment-of-babies.

      The statement from the report is a technical comment on generic wording used in the Review. In our report we repeatedly agree with the conclusions of the NHMRC Homeopathy Review, as reiterated in the quote from The Guardian article. The deletion of text by Brauer is misleading. (We’re essentially making the general point that you can have reliable evidence that there is no evidence of effectiveness.)

    1. 2. Complementary Medicine (including Homeopathy) in Switzerland: Complementary medicine in Switzerland is now a mandatory health insurance service: The Swiss Federal Government acknowledges that complementary medicine meets insurance regulations (Swiss Federal Health Insurance Act 1996) when it comes to effectiveness, guaranteeing high quality and safety. On the 16th June 2017, The Swiss Federal Government issued a press release  [13] announcing that specific medical services using complementary medicine are to be covered by mandatory health insurance (basic insurance) as of 1st August 2017. The following disciplines of complementary medicine will be fully covered: Classical Homeopathy, Anthroposophical Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Herbal Medicine, provided they are practised by conventional medical practitioners who have an additional qualification in one of the four disciplines as recognised by the Swiss Medical Association. This implements one of the key demands of the Swiss constitutional referendum held on 17th May 2009.

      Comment submitted, awaiting approval:

      You stated:

      "On the 16th June 2017, The Swiss Federal Government issued a press release [13] ..."

      The document you linked to is a press release by Dachverband Komplementärmedizin, the Swiss Umbrella Association for Complementary Medicine, not the Swiss Federal Government.

      "The Swiss Federal Government acknowledges that complementary medicine meets insurance regulations (Swiss Federal Health Insurance Act 1996) when it comes to effectiveness, guaranteeing high quality and safety."

      The Swiss government stated:

      "The remuneration for the services is provisional and limited in time, because it is not necessary to prove that the services of the four complementary medical disciplines are effective, expedient and economic. It has now been shown that this proof for the disciplines is not possible."

      https://www.admin.ch/gov/de/start/dokumentation/medienmitteilungen.msg-id-61140.html (translation from German to English by Google)

  2. Jul 2018
    1. Oh Dear me. A reasonable conclusion but in your hands a lie.

      Comment submitted, awaiting moderation.

      So, have you read the ‘first report’ or not?

    2. Oh Dear me. A reasonable conclusion but in your hands a lie.

      How is it a reasonable conclusion when you literally have not read it? The only reasonable conclusion is to hold no opinion at all except to get it released so you can read it and then form one.

    3. Oh Dear me. A reasonable conclusion but in your hands a lie.

      Comment submitted, awaiting moderation.

      Who is that a response to? Have you not got comment threading enabled?

    4. The first conclusions of the Australian Research Council were positive about homeopathy.

      Comment submitted, awaiting moderation:

      That's interesting - have you read this 'first report'?

    5. The first conclusions of the Australian Research Council were positive about homeopathy. As a result, known anti-homeopathy members of the Council squashed the report and then released a very negative report.

      How does the anonymous author of the "Official Homeopathy Resource" site know that the conclusions were positive if it was "squashed"? Surely the only way they could claim this is if they'd seen it. And if they had seen it they would be pushing it for all to see.

      Due to the fact that they are not publishing this supposed report the only reasonable conclusion is that they don't have it. And if they don't have it then the claim they make in it being positive for homeopathy is a fabrication made on nothing but wishful thinking.

      Or, in plainer terms, a lie.

    1. Ultimately, a report on homeopathic medicine was released and subsequently published in book form in English titled Homeopathy in Healthcare, Effectiveness, Appropriateness, Safety, Costs, Bornhoft and Matthiessen, 2011,

      This is incorrect.

      The version published in English was not the one submitted to the Swiss Government Commission (PEK), but was one added to be its authors. The report was published "without any consent of the Swiss government or administration".[1]

      It was a report written by homeopathists that 're-interpreted' the conclusions of researchers to make it look like homeopathy was effective, against all the evidence.[2] The report has been described as research misconduct.[3]


      1 Gurtner, F. 2012. “The Report ‘Homeopathy in Healthcare: Effectiveness, Appropriateness, Safety, Costs’ Is Not a ‘Swiss Report’.” Swiss Medical Weekly (December 17). doi:10.4414/smw.2012.13723. http://www.smw.ch/content/smw-2012-13723/ .

      2 “That ‘neutral’ Swiss Homeopathy Report | Zeno’s Blog.” 2013. Accessed January 29. http://www.zenosblog.com/2012/05/that-neutral-swiss-homeopathy-report/ .

      3 “SMW - Swiss Medical Weekly - The Swiss Report on Homeopathy - a Case Study of Research Misconduct.” 2012. Accessed June 2. http://www.smw.ch/content/smw-2012-13594/ .

    2. to determine if they were effective and cost-effective

      The Swiss Government, after considering the evidence, concluded that it did not meet the requirements of efficacy, appropriateness and cost-effectiveness.

    3. For the record, Her Royal Majesty, Queen Elizabeth’s personal physician is a homeopathic medical docto, Dr. Peter Fisher, MD. Dr. Fisher currently serves as Clinical Director and Director of Research at the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine (RLHIM)

      For the record, Fisher is only the Director of Research.

    4. The entire Royal Family are strong supporters of homeopathy. People like that can use any medicine money can buy, but they choose homeopathy.

      When they Royal Family need medical attention, they go to hospital such as the King Edward VII Hospital and not the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine.

    5. The UK still has a long history of public support of homeopathy and still has four conventional public hospitals which employ homeopathy http://www.the-hma.org/uk-homeopathic-hospitals.html. India

      I have submitted the following using the comment form at the bottom of the page but it has not been published:

      You said:

      "The UK still has a long history of public support of homeopathy and still has four conventional public hospitals which employ homeopathy http://www.the-hma.org/uk-homeopathic-hospitals.html."

      This is incorrect and hopelessly out of date.

      There is only one hospital within the NHS in the UK that provides homeopathy and that is the one in Glasgow.

      The one in Liverpool closed in 2011 and transferred to a small clinic, but even that closed down a few years ago.

      The one in Bristol closed in 2013. There is a private clinic in Bristol that provides homeopathy services to the NHS but that is currently the subject of a consultation that could see it's contract terminated.

      The one in London hasn't had a homeopathy service for some years and now no longer provides homeopathy on ther NHS.

      Homeopathy prescriptions dispensed in community pharmacies in the UK has plummeted 91% since 2000.

  3. Jun 2018
    1. suggested banning homeopathic products and placing restrictions on the sale of other complementary medicine products in PBS pharmacies

      The Govt response was to soften this. The response from the Govt was to allow individual pharmacists decide what they would and wouldn't carry. However, there is a requirement for pharmacists and their staff to now be knowledgeable enough to "ensure that consumers are provided with the best available information about the current evidence for, or lack-of efficacy in, offered treatments and therapies."

      This will leave pharmacies open to being challenged if they do not present the state of the current scientific consensus.

      It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

    2. proposed ban

      Recommendation

    3. Australian Government blocks homeopathy ban

      Wow... hardly surprising that everything about this headline is wrong. You don't even need to go to the source document to establish that too.

      1. It was a recommendation, not a ban.
      2. The govt basically handed off the decision to follow the recommendation to individual pharmacists.

      There was no ban and the govt didn't "block" anything,

  4. Apr 2018
    1. And lets not forget that there are many terrible side effects from these over the counter drugs. Tragically, the leading cause of liver failure in children is Paracetamol.

      While this argument has been done to death and the continued use of it demonstrates an inability to accept or understand drug reactions in a biological entity I’m more interesting in the final point.

      A quick search on “the leading cause of liver failure in children” did not reveal any hits that included paracetamol. Please don’t suggest I add paracetamol as a term. This would show a fundamental misunderstanding of how cherry-picking, begging the question and search engines work.

      Could you please provide a reliable, unbiased and respected source for this claim?

    2. One of the biggest false criticisms of homeopaths is that they will prevent someone or a child from getting emergency or acute medical care while they are doing homeopathy. This has been disproven both in the UK and in India.

      While there are many cases that disprove your point (as in the case of Francine Scrayen and the influence she had in the death of Penelope Dingle) this isn’t the typical criticism laid against homeopaths.

      On this specific criticism that concern is that people will rely on homeopathy for things that are actually real and won’t resolve themselves given time.

      And looking at the way homeopaths speak online I don’t see anyone being able to honestly say that this isn’t a thing that happens.

    3. OK we will discuss in question-speak as you wish.

      How do you think conversations work?

      Typically a conversation starts with a question. An answer is presented, considered and usually followed by another question. The questioner can swap amongst all participants. When no further question is offered this usually indicates the end of a conversation.

      A conversation without questions isn’t a conversation.

    4. homeopathyresource, on April 29, 2018 at 5:12 pm said: OK we will discuss in question-speak as you wish. Was the reference to the other post and the reporting by reputable journalists about the link between skeptic organizations and pharmaceutical companies not good enough for you? Are you having trouble seeing the facts on this post? Are the statistics and the reputable source of those statistics not good enough for you?

      I submitted this comment but it's being held in moderation so posting it here for the record.

      homeopathyresource said:

      OK we will discuss in question-speak as you wish.

      What a bizarre sentence.

      Was the reference to the other post and the reporting by reputable journalists about the link between skeptic organizations and pharmaceutical companies not good enough for you?

      Several points:

      1. You mentioned skeptic groups, plural. Who are the others you’re referring to?

      2. I’ve already asked you why you mentioned Sense About Science: are you aware of anything they’ve done regarding homeopathy in recent years? I’m not, but I could have missed it. If they haven’t, why mention them now?

      3. Out of interest, do you know what they have been doing in recent years?

      Are you having trouble seeing the facts on this post?

      I certainly see lots of opinion: I have been trying to establish on what evidence and facts you have based that opinion, but you are not, so far, very forthcoming.

      Are the statistics and the reputable source of those statistics not good enough for you?

      What? The figures about OTC products in the US and UK? You cite statistica.com – very odd. Their website has all of eight pages and they describe themselves as providing:

      Software and services from the world’s largest Stastica reseller

      You jest, surely?

      By the way, do you have data on the OTC homeopathy markets in the US and UK?

  5. Mar 2018
    1. and like most alternative medicines there is zero evidence that it works

      In all fairness there is zero credible, good quality evidence that it works. There's heaps of "evidence" that it works, it's just that is it crap research.

  6. Feb 2018
    1. Several years ago the Swiss government commissioned the most extensive research review by a government to date regarding the effectiveness of homeopathy. The report was published in 2011, entitled “Homeopathy in Healthcare - Effectiveness, Appropriateness, Safety, Costs, by Bornhoft and Matthiessen and published by Springer Verlag. http://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783642206375/.This breakthrough report affirmed that homeopathic treatment is both effective and cost-effective and that homeopathic treatment should be reimbursed by Switzerland’s national health insurance program. As a result homeopathy is now covered by the Swiss medical services as long as a medical doctor prescribes the remedies.

      I submitted the following comment on 21 February 2018, but it was not published:

      "Several years ago the Swiss government commissioned the most extensive research review by a government to date regarding the effectiveness of homeopathy. The report was published in 2011, entitled “Homeopathy in Healthcare - Effectiveness, Appropriateness, Safety, Costs, by Bornhoft and Matthiessen and published by Springer Verlag. http://www.springer.com/gp/book/9783642206375/.

      This breakthrough report affirmed that homeopathic treatment is both effective and cost-effective and that homeopathic treatment should be reimbursed by Switzerland’s national health insurance program. As a result homeopathy is now covered by the Swiss medical services as long as a medical doctor prescribes the remedies."

      This is completely wrong on many counts.

      It wasn't extensive: it was a limited review of some homeopathy studies for a few medical conditions. Indeed, the Swiss Government felt it necessary to correct this false and misleading impression.[1]

      Further, the published document you cite wasn't even the same as that submitted to the Programm Evaluation Komplementärmedizin (PEK) set up by the Swiss Government to review reimbursement for homeopathy in their state health insurance scheme. It was an unofficial English translation of the report that was added to by the authors. Again, the Swiss Government had to clarify that it was published 'without any consent of the Swiss government or administration'.[1]

      In their evaluation of the evidence for homeopathy, the authors (mostly with homeopathy conflicts of interest) chose to 're-interpret' the conclusions of the original studies, making them more favourable to homeopathy. When the PEK reviewed the report, they had to downgrade the conclusions to achieve a more balanced view of the evidence, saying, 'Even less skeptical academic doctors will regard many interpretations as very optimistic and not scientifically convincing.'[2] It has been heavily criticised elsewhere.[3]

      The report only looked specifically at evidence for upper respiratory tract infections and allergic reactions, so even if their conclusions had been valid, they cannot be extrapolated to the homeopathic treatment of any other condition. Also, homeopathy had not been found cost-effective because it had not been found effective.

      As a direct result of the Swiss homeopathy report, the Government removed the previous temporary reimbursement of homeopathy from its insurance scheme.

      However, after campaigning by homeopaths and their supporters, a referendum was held in which 67% of those voting voted for homeopathy (and other alternative treatments) to be included for reimbursement. The Swiss Government was in a difficult situation because, although the results of referendums are binding, their law only allows reimbursement for treatments that meet requirements of 'efficacy, appropriateness and cost-effectiveness'. Since none of these therapies met the requirements, the Government has allowed temporary reimbursement. The Swiss Government has now made that reimbursement permanent, even though it declared it was:

      "impossible to provide such proof for these disciplines in their entirety."[4]

      As you do correctly say, homeopathy is only reimbursed if provided by a medical doctor.


      1. Gurtner, F. 2012. "The Report 'Homeopathy in Healthcare: Effectiveness, Appropriateness, Safety, Costs' Is Not a 'Swiss Report'." Swiss Medical Weekly (December 17). doi:10.4414/smw.2012.13723. http://www.smw.ch/content/smw-2012-13723/.
      2. Henness, Alan, and Sven Rudloff. 2013. "That 'neutral' Swiss Homeopathy Report | Zeno's Blog." http://www.zenosblog.com/2012/05/that-neutral-swiss-homeopathy-report/. Note that this references a blog post written by Alan Henness and Sven Rudloff with translations from Swiss-German by Sven Rudloff. However, all original documents are cited, so the veracity of translations (and other information) can be fully verified.
      3. Edzard Ernst. 2012. "A Critique of the Swiss Report Homeopathy in Healthcare - Ernst - 2012 - Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies - Wiley Online Library." http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.2042-7166.2012.01160.x/full. 4 Swiss to recognise homeopathy as legitimate medicine. SWI swissinfo.ch. https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/society/complementary-therapies_swiss-to-recognise-homeopathy-as-legitimate-medicine/42053830 (accessed 26 Nov 2017).
    1. Certainly, the only reason for writing this particular blog is to highlight, through their comments, how little they have to say, how little of importance they have to contribute to the health debate!

      Steve, the list of examples of "how little" we have to say is quite entertaining. It's very clear that you can't link to the source of these comments because that would put them in context. That context being that you are so utterly unable to defend your position in the face of genuine enquiry that you will ultimately twist anything and everything so your narrative is met. This disingenuous and dishonest manner of engagement is what leads otherwise rational and calm people to post things like this.

      You should remove this list unless you are also willing to link to the source so it can be read in context. If you don't, you will at least know a little more about yourself.

  7. Nov 2017
    1. The bottomline is that conventional pharmacology journals, including Archives in Internal Medicine, have found that nanodoses are able to penetrate cell membranes and blood-brain barriers with much greater ease than large complex molecules…and nanodoses are considerably safer too.

      Whenever Ullman cites a source, it's always illuminating to check to ensure it says what he might want you to believe it says.

      In this case, he seems to want us to believe that AIM have published a study that demonstrates that nanodoses are able to penetrate cell membranes, etc. His citation is simply an article from 1999 titled: Homeopathy re-revisited: is homeopathy compatible with biomedical observations?, not original research. It is not a study that shows what Ullman wants us to think it shows.

    2. Nature India published an important article

      No. Nature India published a short article on its website (not in its journal) that said little more than a paper had been published elsewhere. Ullman seems to want to derive some respectability for what he says by claiming it was published in Nature India. The actual paper was published in the far less prestigious Frontiers of Pharmacology.

    3. Skeptics of homeopathy assert that homeopathic medicine do not and cannot have any physiological effects

      Ullman doesn't cite these studies he's referring to, but even if they did show some effect on gene expression in a petri dish that were attributed to the homeopathic product used (and not, say, the alcohol carrier used), that does not mean that homeopathic products - whether in liquid or sugar pellet form - will have the effects claimed for them in humans or other animals.

    4. about half of Swiss physicians consider CAM treatments to be effective. Perhaps most significantly, according to a vote in 2009, 67% (!) of the Swiss population wants CAM therapies to be a part of their country’s health insurance program,

      No. After a campaign by proponents of homeopathy, etc, 67% of those who voted) (not 67% of the Swiss population as Ullman claims), voted for homeopathy, etc to be reimbursed by the Swiss health care system, despite the fact that the Swiss Government had already ruled that it did not meet the requirements of efficacy, appropriateness and cost-effectiveness. The referendum did not change that.

      This high degree of interest in homeopathy and acupuncture provides some insight as to what to expect in the future in Brazil.

      It might have been expected that, after quoting a survey from over a decade ago and musing on the future of healthcare in Brazil, Ullman might have been able to provide an analysis of homeopathy use in Brazil now.

      However, popularity is not a proxy for efficacy.

    5. The Swiss government funded the most comprehensive review to date of clinical and basic sciences research evaluating homeopathic medicines. 

      Ullman provides no evidence for this assertion. The Swiss report into homeopathy was no more than a limited literature review. The pro-homeopathy authors of the report that was submitted to the Programm Evaluation Komplementärmedizin (PEK) set up by the Swiss Government to review reimbursement for homeopathy in their state health insurance scheme. In their evaluation of the evidence for homeopathy, the authors (mostly with homeopathy conflicts of interest) chose to 're-interpret' the conclusions of the original studies, making them more favourable to homeopathy. When the PEK reviewed the report, they had to downgrade the conclusions to achieve a more balanced view of the evidence, saying, 'Even less skeptical academic doctors will regard many interpretations as very optimistic and not scientifically convincing.' It has been heavily criticised elsewhere with one going as far as calling it 'research misconduct'.

      The report only looked specifically at evidence for upper respiratory tract infections and allergic reactions, so even if their conclusions had been valid, they cannot be extrapolated to the homeopathic treatment of any other condition. Also, homeopathy had not been found cost-effective because it had not been found effective.

      As a direct result of the Swiss homeopathy report, the Government removed the previous temporary reimbursement of homeopathy from its insurance scheme.

    6. Major media outlets rely upon Big Pharma advertising more than any other source of revenue.  It is therefore not surprising that Big Media commonly provides misinformation on homeopathy or simply spins positive information in a negative fashion.

      Unfortunately, Ullman neglects to provide any evidence for his claims for his 'Big Pharma' allegations.

    7. Most of these stories are surveys in many countries throughout the world, are totally non-controversial, and are simply factual.

      Surveys provide evidence of popularity, not of efficacy. And the answers that are obtained depend very much on what questions were asked.

    8. Not a single one of the 12 stories below

      Ullman cherry-picks the stories he tells. For example, in the UK, data from NHS Digital show that prescriptions for homeopathy on the National Health Service that were dispensed in community pharmacies in England has fallen 96% in the past two decades. Additionally, the number of homeopathic 'hospitals' run by the NHS has dropped to just two now (in Glasgow and London), with the closure of those at Tunbridge Wells, Liverpool and Bristol in recent years. This paints a different picture to the one Ullman seems to want to do.

    9. Homeopathic.com owner is Dana Ullman, MPH, who TIME magazine described as "the Leading Proselytizer of Homeopathy" and ABC News touted as "Homeopathy's Foremost Spokesman."

      Dana Ullman has also appeared as an expert witness on the topic of homeopathy in a number of court cases. In at least 1 of these he has been described as being "not credible"[1] [2]

    10. The scientifically confirmed evidence in the power of nanodoses

      Nanodoses are a real thing.

      Claiming that this is a potential mechanism for how homeopathy supposedly works, despite the rigorous research that shows it doesn't, is a stretch though. Making a claim like this demonstrates that the claimant doesn't understand the nature of the scales involved with the level of repeated dilutions that are occurring in your typical 30C "remedy".

      If there are any molecules of the active ingredient left to form the nanodose it would be more plausible to suspect that the manufacturing process was at fault.

    11. Significant support for homeopathy from medical students in Brazil

      So, literally people that don't have all the training yet. This would be an interesting thing if they were to complete their training and then run the survey on the same students again. As it stands though, this is less than worthless.

      But again, we end up is a situation where Dana is taking something that sounds positive and uses it to impress those that may not know what to question.

      Dana is demonstrating all the integrity of wet paper bag.

    12. The Largest Governmental Review of Homeopathic Research
      1. Not the largest (and Dana knows this)
      2. Not a Government review (and Dana knows this)

      At best the "Swiss Report" was a very limited assessment of select literature. The ongoing misrepresentation of this publication caused Felix Gurtner of the Federal Office of Public Health FOPH, Health and Accident Insurance Directorate, Bern, Switzerland posted a letter to the editor of Swiss Medical Weekly entitled The report “Homeopathy in healthcare: effectiveness, appropriateness, safety, costs” is not a “Swiss report” to clarify this. Dana is very aware of this, but continues to misinform his readership with this blatantly and demonstrably false claim.

      Given how often this has been pointed out there is only one reasonable conclusion for him continuing to put this out there.

      Dana Ullman is a liar.

    13. high quality research

      Reality shows that high quality research actually demonstrates, conclusively, that homeopathy is no better than a similarly administered placebo. i.e.; doing nothing.

    14. Solid Clinical Research Confirms Efficacy of Homeopathy

      "Efficacy"?

    15. Sadly, strong evidence of bias against homeopathy (and many other alternatives to Big Pharma) at Wikipedia is significant

      In reality the strong bias on Wikipedia is towards robust citations and sources. It is not the fault of Wikipedia or their editors that fans of Homeopathy (and other alternatives to actual medicine) are unable to meet these standards.

    16. aka “the original nanomedicine”

      This AKA is an internal thing withing the skull of Dana. I've seen it used by a very small number of other homeopaths but it has not gained common use either in or out or homeopathy circles yet.

      "AKA" is a bit of a stretch here.

    17. Compelling

      They are compelling if you are scientifically illiterate.

    1. DANA ULLMAN, MPH, CCH, is one of America’s leading advocates for homeopathy. He has authored 10 books, including The Homeopathic Revolution: Why Famous People and Cultural Heroes Choose Homeopathy, Homeopathy A-Z, Homeopathic Medicines for Children and Infants, Discovering Homeopathy, and (the best-selling) Everybody’s Guide to Homeopathic Medicines (with Stephen Cummings, MD).

      Dana Ullman has also appeared as an expert witness on the topic of homeopathy in a number of court cases. In at least 1 of these he has been described as being "not credible"[1] [2]

    2. According to the Lancet, about 10% of the population of India, approximately 100 million people,

      The linked paper is from 2007. The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has much more recent numbers from 2015.

      This has been pointed out to Dana a number of times in the past, but, as with most things that he doesn't like, the more recent data paints a worsening scenario for homeopathy so he ignores it.

      See the previous correction on the title of this section for the commentary on the actual figures.

    3. At least 100 million people in India use homeopathic medicines

      This is a classic misrepresentation of the facts that is typical of Dana. While the number may be right, the representation of it as being "large" is designed to leave the reader with an impression that is actually wrong.

      Homeopathy in India is a fringe therapy.

      India has a huge population. You take any tiny fringe group and you can come up with a very large sounding number. Right up until you look at that number as a percentage.

      For context: NSSO - Key Indicators of Social Consumption in India Health

      Here, the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation reports on medical modality choices. The "other" category makes up about 5-7% usage. In "Other" we have AYUSH. So that's only part of that 5-7%. The "H" in AYUSH is Homeopathy so that makes up a part of a part of the 5-7%.

      Looking at it from this angle you get a much more realistic representation of Homeopathy usage in India. An fraction of a fraction of 5-7% of 1.5 billion people still sounds like a lot if you look at it as a stand alone figure.

    4. The scientifically confirmed evidence in the power of nanodoses.

      Nanodoses are a real thing.

      Claiming that this is a potential mechanism for how homeopathy supposedly works, despite the rigorous research that shows it doesn't, is a stretch though. Making a claim like this demonstrates that the claimant doesn't understand the nature of the scales involved with the level of repeated dilutions that are occurring in your typical 30C "remedy".

      If there are any molecules of the active ingredient left to form the nanodose it would be more plausible to suspect that the manufacturing process was at fault.

    5. The bottomline is that conventional pharmacology journals, including Archives in Internal Medicine, have found that nanodoses are able to penetrate cell membranes and blood-brain barriers with much greater ease than large complex molecules…and nanodoses are considerably safer too.

      Whenever Ullman cites a source, it's always illuminating to check to ensure it says what he might want you to believe it says.

      In this case, he seems to want us to believe that AIM have published a study that demonstrates that nanodoses are able to penetrate cell membranes, etc. His citation is simply an article from 1999 titled: Homeopathy re-revisited: is homeopathy compatible with biomedical observations?, not original research.

    6. Significant support for homeopathy from medical students in Brazil

      So, literally people that don't have all the training yet. This would be an interesting thing if they were to complete their training and then run the survey on the same students again. As it stands though, this is less than worthless.

      But again, we end up is a situation where Dana is taking something that sounds positive and uses it to impress those that may not know what to question.

      Dana is demonstrating all the integrity of wet paper bag.

    7. In comparison, research published in the American Chemistry Society’s leading scientific journal, called Langmuir, has confirmed in controlled studies that “nanodoses” of homeopathic medicines remain in solution even after they are diluted 1:100 six times, 30 times, or even 200 times.
    8. Skeptics of homeopathy assert that homeopathic medicine do not and cannot have any physiological effects, and yet, there are at least a dozen studies showing the effects of homeopathic medicines on gene expression.

      Ullman doesn't cite these studies he's referring to, but even if they did show some effect on gene expression in a petri dish that were attributed to the homeopathic product used (and not, say, the alcohol carrier used), that does not mean that homeopathic products - whether in liquid or sugar pellet form - will have the effects claimed for them in humans or other animals.

    9. The Largest Governmental Review of Homeopathic Research
      1. Not the largest (and Dana knows this)
      2. Not a Government review (and Dana knows this)

      At best the "Swiss Report" was a very limited assessment of select literature. The ongoing misrepresentation of this publication caused Felix Gurtner of the Federal Office of Public Health FOPH, Health and Accident Insurance Directorate, Bern, Switzerland posted a letter to the editor of Swiss Medical Weekly entitled The report “Homeopathy in healthcare: effectiveness, appropriateness, safety, costs” is not a “Swiss report” to clarify this. Dana is very aware of this, but continues to misinform his readership with this blatantly and demonstrably false claim.

      Given how often this has been pointed out there is only one reasonable conclusion for him continuing to put this out there.

      Dana Ullman is a liar.

    10. Efficacy

      To quote a fictional character...

    11. high quality research

      Reality shows that high quality research actually demonstrates, conclusively, that homeopathy is no better than a similarly administered placebo. i.e.; doing nothing.

    12. Not a single one of the 12 stories below

      Ullman cherry-picks the stories he tells. For example, in the UK, data from NHS Digital show that prescriptions for homeopathy on the National Health Service that were dispensed in community pharmacies has fallen 96% in the past two decades. Additionally, the number of homeopathic 'hospitals' run by the NHS has dropped to just two now (in Glasgow and London), with the closure of those at Tunbridge Wells, Liverpool and Bristol in recent years. This paints a different picture to the one Ullman seems to want to do.

    13. This high degree of interest in homeopathy and acupuncture provides some insight as to what to expect in the future in Brazil.

      It might have been expected that, after quoting a survey from over a decade ago and musing on the future of healthcare in Brazil, Ullman might have been able to provide an analysis of homeopathy use in Brazil now.

      However, popularity is not a proxy for efficacy.

    14. Most of these stories are surveys in many countries throughout the world, are non-controversial, and are simply factual.

      Surveys provide evidence of popularity, not of efficacy. And the answers that are obtained depend very much on what questions were asked,

    15. It is therefore not surprising that Big Media commonly provides misinformation on homeopathy or simply spins positive information in a negative fashion

      Unfortunately, Ullman neglects to provide any evidence for his claims for his 'Big Pharma' allegations.

    16. The World Health Organization (WHO) has deemed France to have the BEST health care in the world

      The WHO, of course, do not attribute that to homeopathy, so this is simply an attempt by Ullman to borrow the legitimacy of the WHO for his own purposes. Additionally, that report was published seventeen years ago.

    17. At least 100 million people in India use homeopathic medicines for ALL of their health care needs.

      The National Sample Survey Office of the Indian Government, in its survey on Social Consumption: Health, conducted between January to June 2014 and covering all of India, including urban and rural sectors (n=333,104), stated:

      3.2.2 Clearly a higher inclination towards allopathy treatment was prevalent (around 90% in both the sectors). Only 5 to 7 percent usage of ‘other’ including AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga or Naturopathy Unani, Siddha and homoeopathy) has been reported both in rural and urban area.

      Since homeopathy is not identified separately but included under the banner of AYUSH, it is not known how many use it — all that can be stated is that less than 7% (and likely a lot less) use homeopathy. While this indicates that a number as high as 87 million could be using homeopathy, that still means that 1,224 million Indians do not.

    18. ature India published an important article

      No. Nature India published a short article on its website (not in its journal) that said little more than a paper had been published elsewhere. Ullman seems to want to derive some respectability for what he says by claiming it was published in Nature India. The actual paper was published in the far less prestigious Frontiers of Pharmacology.

    19. The Swiss government funded the most comprehensive review to date of clinical and basic sciences research evaluating homeopathic medicines.

      Ullman provides no evidence for this assertion. The Swiss report into homeopathy was no more than a limited literature review. The pro-homeopathy authors of the report that was submitted to the Programm Evaluation Komplementärmedizin (PEK) set up by the Swiss Government to review reimbursement for homeopathy in their state health insurance scheme. In their evaluation of the evidence for homeopathy, the authors (mostly with homeopathy conflicts of interest) chose to 're-interpret' the conclusions of the original studies, making them more favourable to homeopathy. When the PEK reviewed the report, they had to downgrade the conclusions to achieve a more balanced view of the evidence, saying, 'Even less skeptical academic doctors will regard many interpretations as very optimistic and not scientifically convincing.' It has been heavily criticised elsewhere with one going as far as calling it 'research misconduct'.

      The report only looked specifically at evidence for upper respiratory tract infections and allergic reactions, so even if their conclusions had been valid, they cannot be extrapolated to the homeopathic treatment of any other condition. Also, homeopathy had not been found cost-effective because it had not been found effective.

      As a direct result of the Swiss homeopathy report, the Government removed the previous temporary reimbursement of homeopathy from its insurance scheme.

    20. The Swiss government’s inquiry into homeopathy

      The Swiss Government's enquiry into homeopathy and other practices concluded that they did not meet the requirements of efficacy, appropriateness and cost-effectiveness. As a result, it removed the temporary reimbursement of homeopathy in their health insurance system.

    21. about half of Swiss physicians consider CAM treatments to be effective. Perhaps most significantly, according to a vote in 2009, 67% (!) of the Swiss population wants CAM therapies to be a part of their country’s health insurance program

      No. After a campaign by proponents of homeopathy, etc, 67% of those who voted) (not 67% of the Swiss population as Ullman claims), voted for homeopathy, etc to be reimbursed by the Swiss health care system, despite the fact that the Swiss Government had already ruled that it did not meet the requirements of efficacy, appropriateness and cost-effectiveness. The referendum did not change that.

    22. It is no wonder that a significant number of college professors disallow reference to Wikipedia as a “reliable” source of information.

      Actually, this is more because study at this level would expect the students to dig deeper than an overview on a topic. The references section, and discussion page, for an article on Wikipedia are often a very good starting point.

    23. Dana Ullman, MPH, CCH, ContributorEvidence Based Homeopath

      In Rosendez v. Green Pharmaceuticals, Case No. CIVDS 1108022 (Cal. Super. Ct., San Bernardino Nov. 25, 2014) [1], the Honorable Bryan F Foster said of Dana Ullman when he appeared as an expert witness for homeopathy:

      "The Defendant presented the testimony of Gregory Dana Ullman who is a homeopathic practitioner. He outlined the theory of homeopathic treatment and presented his opinion as to the value and effectiveness of homeopathic remedies. The Court found Mr. Ullman’s testimony to be not credible. Mr. Ullman’s bias in favor of homeopathy and against conventional medicine was readily apparent from his testimony. He admitted that he was not an impartial expert but rather is a passionate advocate of homeopathy. He posted on Twitter that he views conventional medicine as witchcraft. He opined that conventional medical science cannot be trusted.

      Mr. Ullman’s credibility was undermined by his admission that he advocated the use of a radionics machine, whereby a physician puts a picture of his patient on one side, and a few medicines on the other side, and then sees which of the medicines the needle points toward. He relied on his personal experience with a radionics machine.

      Mr. Ullman’s testimony was unhelpful in understanding the purported efficacy of the ingredients of SnoreStop to reduce the symptoms of snoring. Although he is familiar with the theory of homeopathic treatment, his opinions regarding its effectiveness was unsupported and biased. The Court gave no weight to his testimony."


      1. http://consumerproductslawblog.wp.lexblogs.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/393/2014/12/Prop-Stat-of-Dec-11-25-14.pdf
    24. Sadly, strong evidence of bias against homeopathy (and many other alternatives to Big Pharma) at Wikipedia is significant

      In reality the strong bias on Wikipedia is towards robust citations and sources. It is not the fault of Wikipedia or their editors that fans of Homeopathy (and other alternatives to actual medicine) are unable to meet these standards.

    25. the original nanomedicine

      This AKA is an internal thing withing the skull of Dana. I've seen it used by a very small number of other homeopaths but it has not gained common use either in or out or homeopathy circles yet.

      "AKA" is a bit of a stretch here.

    26. Compelling

      They are compelling if you are scientifically illiterate.

    1. Patients would vote with their feet! 

      Patients would leave a free service for one they have to pay for?

      You are describing the current scenario for healthcare in the US. That appears to be working well for them.

      [edit] That last sentence is sarcasm. i know you may have an issue recognising that so I figured I should say it.

    2. They would be funding an NHS, who were offering a medicine, that people no longer wanted.

      It would mean that the lighter load on the NHS would allow the limited resources they have to better service the patients they get.

    3. If this happened

      That's a big "if".

    4. Most important, demand will increase when the outcome surveys mentioned above show that alternative medicine is more effective in the treatment of illness

      This confidence despite the evidence that shows homeopathy doesn't work.

    5. Demand will increase with the ongoing failure of the NHS, its failure to meet demand, its inability to offer timely appointments with doctors.

      This scenario sounds like a funding issue. This would also suggest that your new endeavour would need significant funding to succeed. Which means higher subscriptions fees. which means even more of the people you are trying to serve won't be able to afford your subscription.

      You'll be helping even fewer people.

    6. If all this were done demand for alternative medicine would quickly increase

      Do you have professionally assessed market research to back this claim? Or is it just a gut feeling?

      If the latter, surely you would want to do the former so that when you approach the entrepreneurial business people mentioned earlier you can present them with that. Because they will want to see that before supporting your endeavour.

    7. safe and effective  medical treatment

      The best and most robust research we have on this conclusively shows homeopathy to not be effective.

      How do you address this problem?

    8. Patients would pay their monthly fee to the AHS, or the insurance agent.

      So... This is on top of the taxes that they already pay. The taxes that fund the NHS.

      The major complaint from homeopathy supporters is that removing homeopathy from the NHS means that those that can't afford to pay for healthcare won't have access to it any more. Despite the claims of it being so cheap.

      So your solution is to create a new thing and charge them what effectively equates to a subscription fee.

      Do you realise that the people you are trying to save homeopathy on the NHS for are, by your own description, the people that couldn't afford this subscription? You do get that, right?

    9. It should not be an organisation that restricts how homeopathy practices

      So you are promoting an organisation with no regulatory powers over it's membership what so ever?

      Even within the ranks of homeopaths there are those that accept that they should not be touching some areas. Actual serious conditions that won't resolve on their own. Yet there are others that are quite open about being able to treat literally anything at all. For the most part we don't heat about these because they never actually get the chance to inflict there claims on others. Occasionally, when they do though, it typically ends in a fatality.

      c.f. Gloria Thomas and Penelope Dingle and a truck load of others.

    10. well-intentioned

      and under educated

    11. Homeopathy is effective medicine because it understands what causes illness that relates to the real, observable world.

      The moment Homeopathy meets the observable world in a manner that removed observer bias the "effectiveness" also goes away. The purpose of the removing observer bias is to work out what is real.

    12. but we do know that we have knowledge of, and access to remedies that will help the body heal itself.

      ...aaaaand there you differ from what the robust scientific body of evidence conclusively demonstrates.

      You claim to know, but consistently fail to actually demonstrate. So, how do you "know".

    13. We don't believe that we have an ability to prevent and cure human illness and disease

      You are in agreement with the science here.

    14. just why we have become susceptible to them

      We have always been susceptible to them.

    15. A Declaration in favour of Effective Medicine

      This would fly in the face of everything else you represent...

    16. Homeopaths don't believe that illness is caused by bacteria and viruses

      ...because fuck 200 years of medical and scientific advances.

    17. petition opposing this

      Why would you need a petition to oppose an open consultation? You were literally trying to suppress the free speech of others. Also, if the weight of evidence for homeopathy was actually there this would only reinforce homeopathy's position on the NHS.

    18. The NHS wants to stop patient access to homeopathy.

      Actually, the NHS wants to be fiscally responsible with the limited taxpayer funds they have so are weeding out demonstrably ineffective treatment options. It's not their fault homeopathy falls into that category.

    19. superior

      To quote a certain fictional character; "You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means."

    20. Homeopathy is different to conventional medicine.

      Homeopathy is only different in that it is an inert thing that has no effect beyond that of a similarly administered placebo.

    1. When they succeed

      "When"? LOL. :)

      That's an unwarranted level of confidence... :)

    2. propaganda

      I don't think this means what you think it means. Just because you didn't like the information it doesn't mean that it was biased or misleading.

    3. homeopathic community did not succeed in discrediting that report

      Perhaps this was because it was factually correct and a reasonable interpretation of all the evidence presented.

    1. based on only eight of the 110 trials

      Shang et al. took the best eight trials: what homeopaths seem to want to do is to include less robust, less independent, more biased trials into account. Why would they want to do that, I wonder?

  8. Oct 2017
    1. unhappy at the way the committee conducted its review.

      There is little doubt homeopaths would have loved the committee only to have heard from homeopaths but I hope an impartial observer would see the problem with that!

      However, the Government in its response to the report did not express any concerns over the legitimacy of the Committee, the process of gathering evidence, the voting or the final report.

      https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-response-to-the-science-and-technology-committee-report-evidence-check-2-homeopathy

    2. rejected by the UK government

      Wrong: the Government in its response did not express any concerns over the legitimacy of the Committee, the process of gathering evidence, the voting or the final report.

      https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-response-to-the-science-and-technology-committee-report-evidence-check-2-homeopathy

    1. no practicing homeopath testified

      Wrong. Dr Peter Fisher, Director of Research, Royal London Homeopathic Hospital gave oral evidence - I understand he was practising at that time. However, the following also gave oral evidence:

      • Mr Robert Wilson, Chairman, British Association of Homeopathic Manufacturers (BAHM)
      • Dr Robert Mathie, Research Development Adviser, British Homeopathic Association

      Additionally, there were written submissions from the following organisations representing homeopaths or supporting homeopathy:

      • Alliance of Registered Homeopaths (ARH)
      • British Association of Homeopathic Manufacturers (BAHM)
      • British Homeopathic Association
      • European Central Council of Homeopaths
      • European Committee for Homeopathic Medicine in Europe
      • Homeopathy Research Institute
      • Homeopathy: Medicine for the 21st Century (H:MC21)
      • Liga Medicorum Homoepathica Internationalis (LMHI)
      • Northern Ireland Association of Homeopaths
      • Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health
      • Society of Homeopaths

      The individuals submitting written evidence included the following homeopaths and homeopathy researchers:

      • Dr Clare Relton
      • Dr Hugh J Nielsen
      • Dr Jean Munro
      • Dr Peter Fisher
      • Dr Peter Julu
      • Dr Sara Eames
      • Professor George Lewith
      • Professor Harold Walach
    2. Only 3 out of the 14  members of the committee voted

      Wrong. Four members voted.

    3. pouring

      Wrong: the word is 'poring', not 'pouring'.

    4. sham hearings

      Wrong: the Government in its response did not express any concerns over the legitimacy of the Committee, the process of gathering evidence, the voting or the final report.

      https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/government-response-to-the-science-and-technology-committee-report-evidence-check-2-homeopathy

    5. The hundreds of pages of evidence submitted by homeopaths was never considered

      Wrong: the evidence was considered and is included in the report.

    6. 2009

      Wrong: the report was published on 22 February 2010.

    7. shills for the drug companies

      No evidence is provided for these accusations.

    8. Although Parliament rejected their recommendation
    1. “Science”

      I can understand Sandra Hermann-Courtney thinking that the comment from Eco Witch deserves a wider audience but all it has done is demonstrate that neither Sandra or Eco Witch understand what science actually is.

      My initial response to this reposted comment was "You've started by quoting the word 'Science', and the statement immediately following it indicates that they are intended as scare quotes. You've already lost any credibility you could have had.

      The rest of the reposted comment just demonstrated a fundamental lack of understanding of the scientific method. Some may argue that Eco Witch is arguing against a Strawman. But I'd have to disagree. In order to form a Strawman argument you first have to have at least a basic understanding of what you're arguing against in order to form an easier point to knock down. Eco Witch and, by extension via the reason for the repost, Sandra have demonstrated that they have little grasp on what the Scientific Method actually is.

      At best, they are arguing against a caricature of science. Until they realise this they will continue to be relegated to the category of Crank when they talk on the topic.

    1. However government data says that 28% people in India use one of more kind of AYUSH treatments.

      I would be interested in the source of this 28% claim. From my limited research Homeopathy in India is a fringe therapy.

      India has a huge population. You take any tiny fringe group and you can come up with a very large sounding number. Right up until you look at that number as a percentage.

      For context: http://www.thehinducentre.com/resources/article7378862.ece

      Here, the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation reports on medical modality choices. The "other" category makes up about 5-7% usage. In "Other" we have AYUSH. So that's only part of that 5-7%. The "H" in AYUSH is Homeopathy so that makes up a part of a part of the 5-7%. Taking that into account the claimed growth of 26.3% in homeopathy is hardly any movement at all amongst the wider medical treatment community. Looking at it from this angle you get a much more realistic representation of Homeopathy usage in India. However, this survey was taken in 2015. If there is a more up to date survey from the NSSO I would be very interested in seeing that.

    2. Leave a Reply

      This comment was submitted but has not yet been approved:

      “However government data says that 28% people in India use one of more kind of AYUSH treatments.”

      and

      “The WHO states that Homeopathy is the second most used medical system internationally,”

      Can you say where that comes from? I can’t find the second on in that WHO reports.

  9. Sep 2017
    1. However, please bear in mind that Governmental Statistics often may not always capture the whole magnitude of the issue.

      Looking at the NSSO link, Homeopathy is part of AYUSH and AYUSH is part of “other”.

      “Other” makes up 5-7% of the respondents. Given the number of respondents I would expect this to be a fair representation of the population. Due to the nature of the NSSO I would be surprised if it wasn’t.

      Anyway, Homeopathy still comes in as a fraction (part of AYUSH) of a fraction (part of “other) of, at best, 7% of the population. Messing with polling criteria isn’t going to have much of an impact on such a tiny fraction.

      You state: “In the semi-urban, rural and remote areas (which translate areas with poor people and areas of lower literacy), homeopaths and homeopathy retain a substantial amount of influence…”

      So your argument here is that homeopathy is popular amongst the poor and undereducated? That’s not a good look.

      Also, popularity is irrelevant. The best quality research we have today shows, conclusively, that it doesn’t work and this is being acted on by multiple governments around the world. Australia, the UK, Spain, multiple government departments in the US… All have removed, or are in the process of removing, subsidies and recognition of homeopathy because of the weight of evidence against it.

      Science is a hard thing to argue against.

    1. I wonder if there is a difference between evidence and proof. The evidence exists but whether it meets the “scientific proof” demanded by allopaths is not clear to me. With allopathic medication too, we trust the doctor when he uses a new line of treatment or a new drug. When I was young, the sub-atomic particle did not exist and the moon was out of human reach. I can only be a witness in the witness box. It is only recently that India is waking up to the need for improving research in this field. One reason perhaps is the lack of sufficient funding. Here is the Indian Journal of Research in Homeopathy. http://www.ijrh.org/ Let me also give you a link to the British Homeopathic Association: https://www.britishhomeopathic.org/evidence/the-evidence-for-homeopathy/ Let me add that I use allopathy, homeopathy and acupuncture/acupressure. Each has its use.

      I replied to this comment but it doesn't seem to have been published:

      gabbingabout said:

      Let me also give you a link to the British Homeopathic Association: https://www.britishhomeopathic.org/evidence/the-evidence-for-homeopathy/

      The BHA misunderstand the null hypothesis: I would recommend Prof Enrst’s article on the ‘non-conclusive method’. [1] The trials the BHA would label as ‘inconclusive’ are in fact negative because they do not refute the null hypothesis. The BHA state:

      44% of all the randomised controlled trials carried out have been positive, 5% negative and 47% inconclusive.

      Their percentages don’t add up to 100%, but this would be more correctly written:

      44% of all the randomised controlled trials carried out have been positive, 56% negative.

      Even then, this does not take the very important factor of trial quality into account, which is why systematic reviews and meta analyses are required.


      1 Ernst E. The alchemists of alternative medicine – part 3: the ‘NON-CONCLUSIVE’ method. 2014.http://edzardernst.com/2014/02/the-alchemists-of-alternative-medicine-part-3-the-non-conclusive-method/.

    1. Is this an appeal by @JoBrodie to other anti homeopathy activists for their help in falsifying the results of the survey of patients who want homeopathy to remain in Wirral?

      No.

  10. Aug 2017
    1. Hunt recanted his belief in homeopathy on Radio 5 Live in 2013:
    2. Schedule 1 to the National Health Service (General Medical Services Contracts) (Prescription of Drugs etc.) Regulations 2004:
    1. Swiss Government carried out an investigation

      This is incorrect. The investigation was carried out by homeopaths and others for the Swiss Government.

      It was not an Health Technology Assessment (as the book cited claims), which is a very specific, comprehensive and broad-ranging type of assessment, but simply a limited review of some homeopathy studies for a few medical conditions. Indeed, the Swiss Government felt it necessary to correct this false and misleading impression. [1]

      Further, the published document wasn't even the same as that submitted to the Programm Evaluation Komplementärmedizin (PEK) set up by the Swiss Government to review reimbursement for homeopathy in their state health insurance scheme. It was an unofficial English translation of the report that was added to by the authors. Again, the Swiss Government had to clarify that it was published 'without any consent of the Swiss government or administration'. [1]

      In their evaluation of the evidence for homeopathy, the authors (mostly with homeopathy conflicts of interest) chose to 're-interpret' the conclusions of the original studies, making them more favourable to homeopathy. When the PEK reviewed the report, they had to downgrade the conclusions to achieve a more balanced view of the evidence, saying, 'Even less skeptical academic doctors will regard many interpretations as very optimistic and not scientifically convincing.' [2] It has been heavily criticised elsewhere. [3]

      The report only looked specifically at evidence for upper respiratory tract infections and allergic reactions, so even if their conclusions had been valid, they cannot be extrapolated to the homeopathic treatment of any other condition. Also, homeopathy had not been found cost-effective because it had not been found effective.

      As a direct result of the Swiss homeopathy report, the Government removed the previous temporary reimbursement of homeopathy from its insurance scheme.

      However, after campaigning by homeopaths and their supporters, a referendum was held in which 67% of those voting (not 67% of the population as some claim) voted for homeopathy (and other alternative treatments) to be included for reimbursement. The Swiss Government was in a difficult situation because, although the results of referendums are binding, their law only allows reimbursement for treatments that meet requirements of 'efficacy, appropriateness and cost-effectiveness'. Since none of these therapies met the requirements, the Government has allowed temporary reimbursement until 2017 and this will only be extended if homeopaths provide good scientific evidence by 2015.

      Gurtner, F. 2012. "The Report 'Homeopathy in Healthcare: Effectiveness, Appropriateness, Safety, Costs' Is Not a 'Swiss Report'." Swiss Medical Weekly (December 17). doi:10.4414/smw.2012.13723. http://www.smw.ch/content/smw-2012-13723/. Henness, Alan, and Sven Rudloff. 2013. "That 'neutral' Swiss Homeopathy Report | Zeno's Blog." http://www.zenosblog.com/2012/05/that-neutral-swiss-homeopathy-report/. Edzard Ernst. 2012. "A Critique of the Swiss Report Homeopathy in Healthcare - Ernst - 2012 - Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies - Wiley Online Library." http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.2042-7166.2012.01160.x/full.

    2. five

      This is years out of date. The Tunbridge Wells Homeopathic Hospital was closed in 2008, the Liverpool 'hospital' in 2011 and the Bristol Hospital in 2013. That leaves just two: one in Glasgow (part of the Scottish NHS) and the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine. However, the latter does not now have a separate homeopathy service and its referrals from local Clinical Commissioning Groups is under severe pressure.

    1. Swiss Government carried out an investigation

      This is incorrect. The investigation was carried out by homeopaths and others for the Swiss Government.

      It was not an Health Technology Assessment (as the book cited claims), which is a very specific, comprehensive and broad-ranging type of assessment, but simply a limited review of some homeopathy studies for a few medical conditions. Indeed, the Swiss Government felt it necessary to correct this false and misleading impression. [1]

      Further, the published document wasn't even the same as that submitted to the Programm Evaluation Komplementärmedizin (PEK) set up by the Swiss Government to review reimbursement for homeopathy in their state health insurance scheme. It was an unofficial English translation of the report that was added to by the authors. Again, the Swiss Government had to clarify that it was published 'without any consent of the Swiss government or administration'. [1]

      In their evaluation of the evidence for homeopathy, the authors (mostly with homeopathy conflicts of interest) chose to 're-interpret' the conclusions of the original studies, making them more favourable to homeopathy. When the PEK reviewed the report, they had to downgrade the conclusions to achieve a more balanced view of the evidence, saying, 'Even less skeptical academic doctors will regard many interpretations as very optimistic and not scientifically convincing.' [2] It has been heavily criticised elsewhere. [3]

      The report only looked specifically at evidence for upper respiratory tract infections and allergic reactions, so even if their conclusions had been valid, they cannot be extrapolated to the homeopathic treatment of any other condition. Also, homeopathy had not been found cost-effective because it had not been found effective.

      As a direct result of the Swiss homeopathy report, the Government removed the previous temporary reimbursement of homeopathy from its insurance scheme.

      However, after campaigning by homeopaths and their supporters, a referendum was held in which 67% of those voting (not 67% of the population as some claim) voted for homeopathy (and other alternative treatments) to be included for reimbursement. The Swiss Government was in a difficult situation because, although the results of referendums are binding, their law only allows reimbursement for treatments that meet requirements of 'efficacy, appropriateness and cost-effectiveness'. Since none of these therapies met the requirements, the Government has allowed temporary reimbursement until 2017 and this will only be extended if homeopaths provide good scientific evidence by 2015.


      1. Gurtner, F. 2012. "The Report 'Homeopathy in Healthcare: Effectiveness, Appropriateness, Safety, Costs' Is Not a 'Swiss Report'." Swiss Medical Weekly (December 17). doi:10.4414/smw.2012.13723. http://www.smw.ch/content/smw-2012-13723/.

      2. Henness, Alan, and Sven Rudloff. 2013. "That 'neutral' Swiss Homeopathy Report | Zeno's Blog." http://www.zenosblog.com/2012/05/that-neutral-swiss-homeopathy-report/.

      3. Edzard Ernst. 2012. "A Critique of the Swiss Report Homeopathy in Healthcare - Ernst - 2012 - Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies - Wiley Online Library." http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.2042-7166.2012.01160.x/full.

    2. five

      This is years out of date. The Tunbridge Wells Homeopathic Hospital was closed in 2008, the Liverpool 'hospital' in 2011 and the Bristol Hospital in 2013. That leaves just two: one in Glasgow (part of the Scottish NHS) and the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine. However, the latter does not now have a separate homeopathy service and its referrals from local Clinical Commissioning Groups is under severe pressure.

    1. independent cost benefit outcome data analyses

      This large study is a good one to consider:

      Looking at the healthcare records of 44,500 patients in Germany, a study by Ostermann et al. to compare the health care costs for patients using adjunctive homeopathic treatment with the costs for those receiving usual care, concluded:

      "Compared with usual care, additional homeopathic treatment was associated with significantly higher costs. These analyses did not confirm previously observed cost savings resulting from the use of homeopathy in the health care system."[1]


      1. Ostermann JK, Reinhold T, Witt CM. Can Additional Homeopathic Treatment Save Costs? A Retrospective Cost-Analysis Based on 44500 Insured Persons. PLoS ONE 2015;10:e0134657. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0134657
    2. when big pharma kills off enough UK folks and bankrupts its government.

      I'm struggling to understand how killing off large numbers of its citizens, sufficient to bankrupt the Government (if that even is possible), sits with the conspiracy theorist's oft-spouted claims that 'Big Pharma' simply wants to make as much money as possible. If it kills vast numbers, who will fund Big Pharma's shareholders. Mind you, I find it very difficult to get into the mind of a conspiraloon.

    3. Stick to your opinions if they advance you on life's path. Those with knowledge and experience will stick with homeopathy. The UK should be promoting homeopathy and expanding its offerings which will happen soon enough when big pharma kills off enough UK folks and bankrupts its government.

      I will stick to my opinions. I am of the opinion that on any topic that I don't know enough about I will concede my position to the scientific consensus regardless of how much I like or dislike that position.

      As for homeopathy being promoted and expanded in the UK it appears to be on it's last legs there. Spain has also recently come out and restated its heavily pro-science position on the topic and it's looking like Scotland NHS is about to dump it too.

      If there was any reality in your claims you would expect to see things as you wish they were. And before you claim Big Pharma is doing this Big Pharma would be all over it if there was anything in it.

    4. There are more than 550 million homeopathic patients across the globe who know from many years of use that it does work. There are several hundred high quality studies published in 129 respected, peer-reviewed journals showing it works in a variety of health conditions. There is replicated research showing it works in 23 conditions including blood coagulation, arsenic toxicity, female infertility and ADHD.

      I would ask for a citation on the 550 million homeopathy users, but you've never provided one in the past and I have no expectation that you'll do so now.

      Regardless, by your own standards of logic that means there are 6.5 billion people that don't use it so your point is sufficiently countered.

      Personally I think your argument from popularity and my argument from the opposite position are irrelevant. The best research we have today demonstrates that it doesn't work. The small number of poor quality papers you cite do not manage to overcome the good quality research that is out there.

    5. Actually, Gold, YOU and other "skeptics" of homeopathy are the ones who are arguing against the masses. World wide there are about 2,000 "skeptics", i.e., people who have never used, studied or practiced homeopathy but claim it doesn't work.

      I've used homeopathy, so I guess I'm not one of these "about 2000" that you refer to.

      I would love to see your source for the number too. Or are you just making that up based on your opinion from your interactions with them online?

      I'm sorry that you can't actually grasp what it is to be a skeptic. You have had it explained to you time and time again yet you persist with this caricature.

      A skeptic would update their position in the face of evidence that they understand and back the scientific consensus in areas they're not knowledgeable in.

      You phrase being a skeptic like it is a bad thing. This alone indicates that you don't understand what you are talking about.

  11. Jul 2017
    1. homeopathy reimbursement prescription funding

      This just demonstrates the author's complete failure to understand the NHS.

    2. England's Homeopathy Skeptics Call for Opinion Based Health Care

      You do realise that it is typically your crowd that is pushing for opinion based healthcare, right?

      If you have reached the point where you are even arguing against the opinion of the masses some part of you has realised that you are losing the popular vote. That you no longer have the numbers to be able to influence something like this.

      Some part of you is realising that homeopathy is indeed on the decline.

      You should listen to that part of yourself and ask it why this is the case.

  12. Jun 2017
    1. The leading journal in the field of homeopathy research has announced a significant increase in its Impact Factor (IF) for 2017.

      The "leading journal" in the field of homeopathy was added to the Title Suppressions list in 2016.

    1. The bottom line is that their intent is malicious and they spread lies, hate, and disinformation about a healing modality that has been proven to benefit millions.

      “SKKKepticLover: The bottom line is that their intent is malicious and they spread lies, hate, and disinformation about a healing modality that has been proven to benefit millions.”

      If this was the case you(the royal “you” that is the pro-homeopathy side of this discussion(not you personally)) would be able to easily counter their(the royal “they” of the pro-science side of this discussion) claims with the evidence that backs your position. You would also be able to defend that evidence should it be challenged.

      What you shouldn’t need to do is;

      • You shouldn’t need to resort to special pleading to explain away the poor quality of positive studies and the paucity of replication within the literature.
      • You wouldn’t need to make comparisons that don’t matter (actual medicine has a bodycount) because it doesn’t validate or support the actual claims in the discussion.
      • You shouldn’t promote scientific studies that support your claims while saying science can’t test it when it disproves your claims.
      • You shouldn’t need to resort to anecdotes and insist they should count as solid data when it has been explained time and time again why anecdotes are not useful and have repeatedly failed to explain why this claim is incorrect.
      • You shouldn’t need to repeatedly copy/paste the same arguments that have been demonstrably debunked time and time again just in case the pro-science crowd don’t show on the current comment thread.
      • You shouldn’t need to avoid answering uncomfortable challenges to your position.

      I’ll add the caveat here that the list above is more in reference to the commenters on discussion forums that the positions of organisations.

      I think that the takeaway message of the above is that if you can’t defend your position perhaps you should reconsider it. This is what science does and this is what the pro-science crowd should be doing, IMHO.

      If the majority of the best quality research showed homeopathy worked (not how it works, just that it works) the pro-science crowd would be backing you.

    2. They masquerade as pro-science when, in fact, they are libelers and slanderers.

      “SKKKepticLover: They masquerade as pro-science when, in fact, they are libelers and slanderers.”

      The accusation that they are “libelers and slanderers” would be fair and valid if the science being claimed was incorrect and you could demonstrate they knew this to be the case when they made the statements.

      If the pro-homeopathy crowd is so confident that they’re right on the science and the statements are indeed libelous and/or slanderous why do we not see these accusations being won in a court of law?

    3. Using a screen name which implies you are a representative of some agency within the UK government is unethical.

      “ChristyRedd (to UK Homeopathy Regulation): Using a screen name which implies you are a representative of some agency within the UK government is unethical.”

      This is a prime example of the sort of thing that I was referring to in my earlier post about the nature of the online discussion.

      In this comment, Christine has addressed a commenter but rather than address the points of the message she has chosen to just attack the poster themselves. She goes on to make unfounded claims about the poster and the nature of the popularity of homeopathy.

      This “550 million homeopathic patients” claim is one of her regular copy/paste claims that she never addresses when asked for a reliable source for the numbers.

      This approach doesn’t help the case of the larger homeopathic community. When you get down to it these commenters are the voice of the wider community when it comes to online interactions outside of any safe, insulated self imposed community silo that may exist.

    4. The homeopathic community needs to become more politically organized to fight this small band of extremists who believe in depriving others of their freedom of medical choice.

      “SKKKepticLover: The homeopathic community needs to become more politically organized to fight this small band of extremists who believe in depriving others of their freedom of medical choice.” I agree, somewhat. The homeopathic community needs to stop the rhetoric that the pro-science crowd believes in depriving others of their freedom of medical choice. It has been pointed out on almost every comment thread that this isn’t the case. The pro-science crowd promotes responsible spending of public funds. e.g. taxpayer money shouldn’t subsidise healthcare options that are unproven or disproven. This isn’t the same as saying that it should be banned. The other thing that the pro-science crowd support is informed decision making. The pro-homeopathy crowd regularly claim that the pro-science side are trying to restrict their freedom of speech while they express their freedom of speech. If their claims were true they wouldn’t be able to make the claim in the places they are. Their own complaint is the evidence that the complaint is invalid. Often, in the same post where they claim this they will be calling for the pro-science crowd to have their freedom of speech curtailed. This approach need to stop. It just makes those posters look foolish. That the pro-science side is pushing for is the ability for those trying to make informed medical choices to have access to accurate information about the treatments on offer. If your claim is challenged you should be able to defend it. If you can’t defend it you should go and learn more about it so you can better defend it. The current approach from the pro-homeopathy commenters is to complain, dodge the point, ignore it, which about suppression of freedom of speech, change the topic, make irrelevant comparisons to other things, copy/paste a repeatedly debunked claim, resort to ad hominem attacks, claim an ad hominem attack has been used against them (even after the concept of ad hom has been clearly described and it’s been pointed out why it wasn’t one), name calling… The list goes on. But at this point they do anything but counter the challenge to defend the claim made. The portion of the homeopathic community that are engaged on forums and comment threads need to show a little respect for the topic and for themselves. None of the current tactics that are used by the homeopathic community that is engaged on forums and comment threads is helping their position.

  13. May 2017
    1. MetalOllie also has a blog where he exercises his right to publish his own narrative

      Comparing your narrative to the sources he cites his narrative does appear to be the more accurate.

      You do come off as the villain.

    2. If the images of their tweets I have posted embarrass the Tweeters (in most cases), they should make their Twitter account Private.

      I find it astounding that you would think the tweets you post would embarrass the tweeters. They point out, effectively, your irrational position. You posting them demonstrates a massive lack of self awareness on your part. I'm consistently surprised that you can't see this. Consistently enough that I'm surprised that I'm surprised by it any more.

    3. See content contained under the headings: "Lies vs Truth"

      Just to point it out yet again... Pro-science, not anti-homeopathy. It's not our fault that the best quality evidence doesn't match your preferred world view. Science doesn't work that way.

      In all fairness, this referenced page is currently an extremely heavily redacted version of the original page. While it could still be considered a misrepresentation of the events you have removed almost all of your original posting to get it to this state.

    1. 1. McCormick, D.P, Chonmaitree, T, Pittman, C, Saeed, K, Friedman, N.R, Uchida, T, Baldwin, C.D. Nonsevere acute otitis media: a clinical trial comparing outcomes of watchful waiting versus immediate antibiotic treatment. Pediatrics June 2005; 115(6):1455.

      This study has nothing to do with homeopathy.

    2. Homeopathy explained

      I submitted this comment, but I suspect it will not be published:

      Because many of my later comments were never published, apparently awaiting moderation, while many pro-homeopathy comments have been published, I've added the missing comments using hyptohes.is. They can be read here: https://via.hypothes.is/http://blog.timesunion.com/holistichealth/homeopathy-explained/17638/

      If you believe my comments in some way breached the Times Union Terms and Conditions, please let me know and say what you believe those breaches are. A different explanation might be that you only want readers to be presented with pro-homeopathy information. I would hope that you would have more journalistic integrity respect for your readers than that.

    3. When school children aren’t allowed to quote Wikipedia, that should give you a hint that it’s not an acceptible form of information.

      This comment didn't get through moderation:

      Renita

      The question was: What, specifically, are the errors in the Wikipedia article on homeopathy? I’m not asking you to detail all of them: please just pick a few of what you believe to be the most serious, quote what they are then provide your evidence and reason-based rebuttals.

      As a homeopath, can you answer this?

    4. To the contrary, there are literally thousands of research trials (large document takes time to load), many of which support the biological activity and therapeutic benefits of homeopathic remedies. Those who claim otherwise are spreading fake homeopathic news.

      This comment didn't get through moderation:

      Larry said:

      “To the contrary, there are literally thousands of research trials (large document takes time to load), many of which support the biological activity and therapeutic benefits of homeopathic remedies.” I looked at that list. It’s a bit out of date, but the first paper listed is titled: Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) studies of homeopathic solutions. It’s from 2001 and I don’t seem to be able to find the full paper but it’s an attempt to replicate some previous tests that purportedly showed a difference in the NMR spectra, etc of some homeopathic dilutions and placebos. It concluded:

      “The Sulphur remedies showed identical one dimensional proton spectra (1H NMR) at 300 and 500 MHz, regardless of dilution/succussion stage, from D4 to D30. Furthermore, Betula 30c as a potentiated solution and its controls (ethanol dilutions and Betula diluted but not succussed) showed identical spectra. Nor were there any statistically significant differences in longitudinal (T1) relaxation times between deionized water and Sulphur D10 to D30 preparations. The shorter T1 of the Sulphur D4 preparation could be ascribed to the higher microviscosity within the sample matrix caused by the high concentration of dissolved material. Also, the T1 values of the Betula alba 30c preparation (in globular form) and control placebo globules were identical. In conclusion, published results from NMR research on homeopathy indicating differences between homeopathic solutions and control samples could not be reproduced.”

      ie, it was negative. Not a good start.

      But which paper out of all those do you believe provides the most compelling evidence for the specific effects of homeopathy?

      “Those who claim otherwise are spreading fake homeopathic news.”

      Who says that?

    5. Homeopathy is recognised as an entire independent system of medicine by countries as vast as India and forward thinking as Switzerland.

      This comment didn't get through moderation:

      Hope said:

      "Homeopathy is recognised as an entire independent system of medicine by countries as vast as India and forward thinking as Switzerland."

      What does Switzerland have to say about the evidence for homeopathy?

    6. Does homeopathy always work? Of course not.

      This comment didn't get through moderation:

      Larry said:

      “Does homeopathy always work? Of course not.” When doesn’t homeopathy work and how do you know?

    7. Excellent Piece Dr Malerba. I would remind everyone reading that Homeopathy has been found efficacious in all methodologically rigorous meta analysis. Furthermore trials of individualised Homeopathy, when sorted by Cochrane criterea, show a positive result that becomes more positive with higher quality of evidence. Please seehttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25480654 for more details.

      This comment didn't get through moderation:

      Paul Theriault said:

      “I would remind everyone reading that Homeopathy has been found efficacious in all methodologically rigorous meta analysis.”

      Which ones are they? Can you provide a link to them?

      “Furthermore trials of individualised Homeopathy, when sorted by Cochrane criterea, show a positive result that becomes more positive with higher quality of evidence. Please seehttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25480654 for more details.”

      It’s interesting that you should cite that Mathie et al. paper. He didn’t find very much high quality reliable evidence at all, did he? He found no trials that had low risk of bias in all seven domains they assessed. In the next lower category, he identified just 12 that had uncertain risk of bias in some domains and low risk of bias in all other domains. The rest were identified as having a high risk of bias in some domains. Of the 12 with uncertain risk of bias, he singled out just three that he concluded were of ‘reliable evidence’.

      The number of participants in these three trials were 81, 75 and 62. One self-describes as ‘preliminary’ and another as ‘a pilot study’. It is difficult to understand why he chose to categorise as being ‘reliable evidence’, or why you cited it.

      But it’s interesting to read what Mathie concluded: “Medicines prescribed in individualised homeopathy may have small, specific treatment effects. Findings are consistent with sub-group data available in a previous ‘global’ systematic review. The low or unclear overall quality of the evidence prompts caution in interpreting the findings. New high-quality RCT research is necessary to enable more decisive interpretation.” Moreover, he emphasised:

      “The overall quality of the evidence was low or unclear, preventing decisive conclusions.”

      Is that the best then?

    8. I base this at this time on the response to this article.

      This comment didn't get through moderation:

      Ann Carey Tobin, MD said: “I base this at this time on the response to this article.” Sorry? You said in the article homeopathy was a controversial topic based on the responses to the article you’d not yet had? Have I got that right or did you mean something else?

    9. You are fortunate to have a GP that fits that description.

      This comment didn't get through moderation:

      Ann Carey Tobin, MD said: “You are fortunate to have a GP that fits that description.” As far as I can tell, it’s pretty universal, certainly here in the UK. But to get back to the topic: how does that differ from other ‘modalities’ and what justifies that description for homeopathy?

  14. Apr 2017
    1. This section of the website gives you a straightforward introduction to the kinds of evidence that exist for homeopathy and the range of conditions with positive evidence.

      This is what is referred to as cherry picking.

  15. Mar 2017
    1. stimulates the body to cure itself

      There is no evidence to support this notion.

    2. minute

      By minute, it means non-existant. Most registered or authorised homeopathic products available for sale in the UK are 30C dilution. This is a dilution of one part of the original substance to 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 parts of water.

      If manufactured correctly, there will not be even a single molecule of the original substance left.

    3. Yet millions claim homeopathy cures even though there is not yet a satisfying scientific explanation.

      The science is quite clear on this. It isn't looking for an explanation. Before you ask "how" you ask "if". When actually looking at the claims and testing to see if they are real it is found that the more observer bias we can remove from the experiment the less of an effect there actually is. To the point where it is indistinguishable from a similarly administered placebo.

      Science doesn't bother trying to explain things that don't exist.

      There is no mystery here.

    1. In truth, no amount of negative research could topple the profession’s belief in homeopathy, and no amount of positive research would change the minds of those set against it.

      Whilst it's likely that true believers will not be swayed by good evidence, the same is not true for skeptics: they will be persuaded by good evidence. To suggest otherwise is to misunderstand skepticism.

    2. The debate over homeopathy continues and the jury is out.

      The only debate that exists here is between Homeopaths and the science groupies that promote a scientific approach to healthcare.

      Amongst the scientific community there is no real debate happening here because the topic is well understood and considered to be quite settled. The only reason you think the jury is out on this topic is because of the echo chamber you live in. It seems like there is debate because you are always able to find someone to argue against your "science".

    1. As this is very unlikely, such symptoms could be due to any of a number of other causes

      ...such as a poor manufacturing process that allowed for inconsistent amounts of active ingredient to be deposited on the pillules. This could lead to a build up of active ingredient that periodically gets deposited. This could be a reasonable explanation for the inconsistent and actually measurable amount of active ingredient found on the pills. This inconsistent amount would fall on a bell curve and at the thin ends of that we have the "nothing at all" and the "way too much" amounts. The fact that the limited number of pills tested did not fall into the "way to much" end of the curve is not only unsurprising, but it would be unexpected. This doesn't mean it can't happen. As 10 families have discovered already.

    2. While adverse toxicity symptoms that may be attributed to an overdose of Belladonna alkaloids are well documented in the literature, the concentration necessary would require the ingestion of multiple bottles of Teething Tablets at once.

      If the manufacturing process of Hyland's Baby Teething Tablets was consistent this would be a fair statement. As it stands though, the FDA findings demonstrated that there was a very large and inconsistent range.

  16. Feb 2017
    1. To further clarify the homeopathic dosages of Belladonna in Baby Teething Tablets, a 10-pound child would have to accidentally ingest, all at the same time, more than a dozen bottles of 135 Baby Teething Tablets before experiencing even dry mouth from the product.

      This is true if the product was manufactured to a consistent standard. It was found that this was not the case.

    2. Hyland’s Baby Teething Tablets have been safely used by millions of children since being introduced to the U.S. market in 1945!

      A history of good manufacturing processes does not speak to the current quality of that process. The fact is that it has been found that this process is no longer as good as it used to be.

    3. We care about your child, and our consumers’ safety is our #1 priority.

      As of 27 January 2017, and despite a request from the FDA, Hylands have refused to recall the product: https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm538684.htm

    4. To further clarify the homeopathic dosages of Belladonna in Baby Teething Tablets, a 10-pound child would have to accidentally ingest, all at the same time, more than a dozen bottles of 135 Baby Teething Tablets before experiencing even dry mouth from the product.

      This is an unreferenced claim, but it assumes that the quantity of Belladonna alkaloids are as stated on the label.

      In their laboratory analysis of 474 tablets of this product, the FDA detected the Scopolamine alkaloid in 174 of them (36.7%). The quantity in 45 of these 174 was 'Below Limit of Quantification', but the others (n=129) had quantities from 0.1 μg to 53.4 μg, a variation of 534 to 1.

      https://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm230762.htm

    5. Belladonna is included in the Tablets to ease the redness, inflammation and discomfort of the child’s gum that often occurs during the teething process.

      While this item is included the manufacturing process of Homeopathy should remove any useful amount of it from the end product. Hyland’s Teething Tablets offer no relief from the redness, inflammation and discomfort from this ingredient.

      Also; this: https://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm230762.htm

    6. Coffea Cruda is included in the Tablets for its actions on wakefulness and increased urination.

      While this item with a latiny sounding name is included the manufacturing process of Homeopathy removes any useful amount of it from the end product. Hyland’s Teething Tablets offer no increased sense of wakefulness from this ingredient.

    7. Chamomilla is included in the Tablets for its actions on irritability commonly associated with teething pain.

      While it is included the manufacturing process of Homeopathy removes any useful amount of it from the end product. Hyland’s Teething Tablets gain no calming benefits from this ingredient.

    8. Calcarea Phosphorica is included in Hyland’s Teething Tablets for its ability to support teeth formation.

      While it is included the manufacturing process of Homeopathy removes any useful amount of it from the end product. Hyland’s Teething Tablets gain no teeth formation benefits from this ingredient.

    1. Russia

      The Russian Academy of Sciences has just come out and formally announced it considers homeopathy to be pseudoscience and a health hazard.

    2. integrative medical specialists

      So... non-specialist in actual medicine want to rely on "hoping really hard" to make bacterial infections go away...

      That'll work out well.

  17. Mar 2016
    1. Quite frankly, I am amazed at the level of hostility homeopathy encounters, particularly from those people who seem unable to have an intelligent debate on the subject without resorting to puerile language and name calling.

      These would be the pro-homeopathy people that are unable to address the valid challenges that are presented.

  18. Feb 2016
    1. When considering value for money, it should be remembered that if these patients were not treated with homeopathic medicines, they would have to be treated by other NHS departments using more expensive conventional drugs.

      The difference here is that these other treatments have a good grounding in the scientific literature. Unlike homeopathy, which has the exact opposite outcome when robustly tested.

    2. Out of the total NHS budget of £100 billion a year, £4 million (0.004%) is spent on Homeopathy2 if you include everything from running the hospital departments to paying the doctors.

      How many actual doctors or nurses could be employed for that sort of money? There's a lot of better things this money could go towards.

  19. Jan 2016
    1. Although homeopathy have been discovered 230 years ago by Dr Samuel Hahnemann but only scientific view has begun only since 25 years.

      Homeopathy was not discovered. It was invented out of whole cloth (or "dreamed up") by a person that was frustrated by the medical knowledge of the day. That medical knowledge wasn't great by today's standards but it has progressed in the last 200+ years where homeopathy has not.

    2. Currently homeopathy has been integrated into the national health care systems of many countries, including India, Mexico, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the United Kingdom.

      This article is being passed around even today as evidence of homeopathy being on the rise. As of this post the article is 12 years out of date and even when it was current homeopathy was on the decline in most first world countries. An example of the trend in the UK is documented very well on the post Another homeopathy fail by Alan Henness

      a drop of 94% in the past 17 years (as of 2013)

  20. Oct 2015
    1. Amygdalin — whose active component is believed to be cyanide — is not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is controversial, given its unproven effectiveness and potential for deadly side effects.

      Many of the comments on this post appear to be pointing out that Amygdalin is not a homeopathic thing and that homeopathy isn't what should be being looked at. I see them as missing 2 main points;

      1. This is the case of an MD who believes in dis-proven treatments accidentally killing a child due to the application of these beliefs.
      2. The boards that were the most forgiving or slow acting were the boards that backed the quack treatments.
    2. Only the allopathic board reprimanded her; the homeopathic board cleared Dr Grout in what Myers called a thorough investigation.

      Only the "allopathic" board reprimanded her?

      Allopathic is term coined by the inventor of homeopathy to describe all medicine that wasn't homeopathy (including other alternative medicines of the day.) Using the term in this context implies a certain level of credibility to alt-meds that they just don't deserve. After all, every alternative medicine that has every been proven to work has become an actual medicine.

      I think this could be better phrased;

      "Only the actual medical board reprimanded her" "Only the credible medical board reprimanded her" "Only the respected medical board reprimanded her"

      Other ideas?

  21. Sep 2015
  22. Jul 2015
    1. Homeopathy, on the other hand, uses highly diluted and succussed doses of natural substances - usually plants and minerals.  It is this dilution that makes homeopathy safer than allopathy and herbalism, and the succussion that allows remedies to retain their effectiveness, despite their high dilution.  This ‘minimum dose’ concept is one of the key principles of homeopathy, also developed in the late 1800's.

      Surprisingly this author does not even seem to know the real history of homeopathy. It was invented in the late 18th century not the `late 1800's' (sic - incorrect use of apostrophe).

    2. Allopathy (pharmaceutical medicine) uses extracts of active ingredients, often sourced from the same plants used by herbalists and homeopaths, that are then reproduced synthetically and highly concentrated in laboratories for use as drugs.  This process is then patented, and was developed in the late 1800's. 

      This paragraph displays amazing ignorance of drug development. Firstly,`allopathy' is a pejorative term invented by homeopaths. It has no meaning in science or medicine.

      Whereas modern pharmacy grew out of certain historical practices such as herbal medicine, most modern drugs are designed from a detailed knowledge of biochemical mechanisms. They are not extracts, are not necessarily highly concentrated, and are formulated as a result of rigorous dose-ranging studies in human subjects. It is untrue to claim that the drug development process used today is similar to that used in the late 1800s.

    1. I used to suffer from migraines

      An individuals experiences of anything mean nothing in a vacuum. Homeopathy for this has been extensively tested.

      The conclusion doesn't support it.

      What ever was causing your migraines it wasn't the homeopathy that fixed it. You were healing yourself, you may as well give yourself the credit.

    2. The most logical solution is to try homeopathy.

      Homeopathy has been tried and tested. ...and tested and tested and tested. It has been found to be no better than placebo.

    3. Swiss government commissioned report supports homeopathy

      It has been pointed out time and time again to Sandra that the "Swiss report" was not, in fact, commissioned by the Swiss Govt.

      It has been misrepresented as such so much that the Swiss Govt did actually speak out on it to clarify this.

  23. May 2015
    1. Homeopathy is a BARGAIN!

      Actually, for what you get and what it can do Homeopathy works out to be one of the most expensive ways of getting water there is.

    2. A great 5 minute explanation of homeopathy and how it works

      For a site that can answer this question in less than 5 minutes check here. The data is up to date and the site maintainers keep it that way. They also promise to update the site with new findings as they are reviewed and found to be of good quality.

    3. Information about the homeopathic treatment of radiation exposure

      Actual research will show that water is fairly good at blocking radiation. Once the damage has been done however, there is nothing a few drops of water/alcohol/sugar will do to assist. If you have suspected radiation damage see an actual doctor.

    4. Learn about the difference between homeopathy vs naturopathy

      This is an easy one.

      Homeopathy is a disproven process of treatment that came about when doing nothing was often better than going to the doctors of the day. It has remained popular among a fringe group of people that don't understand science or why everything else that was popular at the time (leeches, blood letting, etc) has been discarded.

      Naturopathy is an umbrella term used by people that don't understand science, nature or what is actually natural and try to lump alternatives to actual treatment together to give it a more believable status. What they don't appear to be capable of seeing is that despite the vast bulk of these things being totally implausible and actually disproven the various things promoted under the term Naturopathy often contradict each other.

      The cognitive dissonance is strong in these ones.

    1. with redacted patient charts considered one of the most accurate and reliable resources for this data acquisition

      This is only asserted by those who fail to understand the hierarchy of evidence.

    2. On behalf of my many friends in the UK, I hope they can rely on the most independent reliable cost benefit outcome analysis possible.

      The sad thing here is that if it is not an outcome that Sandra likes she will vilify those involved with the decision making process rather than taking it on board and asking why it worked out that way.

    3. their freedom to chose

      While some hold a strong enough position to say it should be banned or criminalised (as a con) most many Skeptics would say that this isn't the case. The argument being made is that something that is demonstrated to be of no beneficial use should not be subsidised by a health care system that is paid for out of public funds.

      If people want to buy their snake-oil they can. Just don't expect anyone else to unwillingly support your decision.

    4. However, the continued rise in disease and need for better, less costly health care delivery proves that neither method is 100% suitable.

      The claim of a "continued rise in disease" needs to be established. I don't believe that this is a thing given the advancements in medical techniques over the centuries. The statistics for any vaccine treatable disease certainly don't support this and many others are manageable these days.

    5. Thus, to advocate the elimination of either mode of treatment would be counter-productive, would it not?

      This is wrong. It assumes that homeopathy is an effective treatment when the best evidence (eg the Australian NHMRC homeopathy report) shows that homeopathy has no specific effects over placebo. The comparison with conventional medicine is therefore a false equivalence.

    6. either mode of treatment

      Homeopathy isn't a 'mode of treatment' unless and until good quality evidence is presented that shows homeopathy has specific effects over placebo.

      The Australian NHMRC report into homeopathy was the latest review of the best evidence and it concluded:

      Based on the assessment of the evidence of effectiveness of homeopathy, NHMRC concludes that there are no health conditions for which there is reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective. Homeopathy should not be used to treat health conditions that are chronic, serious, or could become serious. People who choose homeopathy may put their health at risk if they reject or delay treatments for which there is good evidence for safety and effectiveness. People who are considering whether to use homeopathy should first get advice from a registered health practitioner. Those who use homeopathy should tell their health practitioner and should keep taking any prescribed treatments.

    7. Good Thinking Society has challenged the CCG NHS Liverpool’s use of homeopathy

      This is technically incorrect. The Good Thinking Society challenged the decision Liverpool CCG made to award a contract to a homeopath.

    8. 1) homeopathy is ineffective and 2) it is therefore a waste of money that could be better used elsewhere.

      These statements are true according to the best evidence we currently have available.

    9. Conventional practitioners trust synthetic drugs; homeopaths trust natural substances with each side basing their decisions on what they feel is proven efficacy.

      "Conventional practitioners" trust in synthetic drugs because they have been tested to hell and back to establish what it was in the original remedy that had the actual therapeutic effect. This was then synthesised and quantified so that when prescribed it is better known what the expected outcome is for any given dose.

      The fallacy that "natural" is better is a common one amongst supporters of alternatives to actual medicine. This is just a little messed up when you consider homeopathy. You take a thing, dilute it until there is nothing of it left and call it a "natural" remedy.

    10. The accusations by both sides fail to solve the problem of the over burdened health care system, its practitioners, patients, facilities and rising health care delivery costs.

      The accusations basically boil down to the pro-science crowd claiming there is no good quality evidence to support homeopathy and this needs to be presented before we consider its ongoing use and the supporters of alternatives to medicine refusing or failing to produce anything but snide remarks.

      You can check the comment thread to verify my claim above.

    11. The same charge, as well as toxicity of synthetic drug use, against allopathic practitioners follows closely behind.

      Ahh... no. Those peddling alternatives to medicine are the only ones that think that way. They often go so far as to claim Big Pharma are actively working towards keeping you sick to keep you buying the stuff that... makes you sick? How does that work?

    12. Comments here have included a wide variety of defenses for Simon Singh and his challenge. “Homeopaths don’t care about their patients, for them it’s only the money.”

      Sandra is misrepresenting those speaking for the pro-science crowd. I am one of those people that Sandra would lump into those that would make the quote above. I would like to think that the majority of us would think that the majority of Homeopaths are well meaning people that are ignorant of the good quality research that has demonstrated beyond any doubt that homeopathy is no better than a similarly administered placebo. I would suspect that these people are the ones that don't have exposure to the research that is being done or, if they do, that they are reading within the echo chamber of homeopathy and alternative medicine journals.

      Those that are exposed to the wider research from respected journals that take things a little more seriously (i.e. have reviewers with a decent grasp on the scientific method and its application within research) and yet still hold firm to their belief that homeopathy is a thing to be taken seriously are the ones that are questionable.

    1. How does it work? Practitioners claim homeopathy can help women with a variety of fertility problems from blocked tubes and endometriosis to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

      "Practitioners claim..." They have to claim this because they don't actually know. What they also won't tell you is that there are no good quality studies that support homeopathy having any effect at all.

    2. Homeopathic remedies - made from animal, minerals and plants - are diluted down thousands of times so that each remedy contains only a hint of the original essence.

      Actually diluted so much that there is so little it would be not inaccurate to say there is literally nothing left of the original source material. They forgot to mention the ritualistic "succusion" of the solution or, as I like to refer to it, "spanking the water".

    1. I'll let the image and content speak for itself. The "Translation" in bold red lettering I have added to the screen shot of the Twitter conversation represents my personal opinion about Mr. Henness' thought process.

      This thought process is often without any basis or evidence in the real world. As with every request for citation or evidence of her claims Sandra has never provided any.

    1. This tweet of mine (bottom in the image) was tweeted after seeing a post about how much longer people who use homeopathy live compared to those who use conventional medicine. I was very tired (still am) of the nasty language skeptics tweet to and about me, so thought how nice if homeopathy users would survive longer than the skeptics and homeopathy supporters like me would not need to endure the nasty accusations..."liars", "you're lying", "you're killing people" and worse.....therefore the tweet. I have no apologies for it. I'm a human being with feelings and emotions just like everyone else. Now, on article chats where I defend homeopathy someone will post the image of my tweet in an effort to stop me from speaking out in support of homeopathy. Note to the anti homeopathy "skeptics"...I don't plan to stop speaking out on behalf of homeopathy. Deal with it!

      I suspect Sandra will not allow this comment to be published and if it is no I will at least know that she has read it and made the decision to not allow a right of reply by one of the people she is talking about which would just reinforce the opinion I, and many others have of her.

      So...

      "This tweet of mine (bottom in the image) was tweeted after seeing a post about how much longer people who use homeopathy live compared to those who use conventional medicine."

      Despite this not being the bit the majority of us glomed on to Sandra has repeatedly refused to back up that claim despite being asked to repeatedly whenever she make it.

      "I was very tired (still am) of the nasty language skeptics tweet to and about me, so thought how nice if homeopathy users would survive longer than the skeptics and homeopathy supporters like me would not need to endure the nasty accusations..."

      "Gleefully" is one of the words I regularly use to describe how Sandra's tweet came across.

      ""liars", "you're lying", "you're killing people" and worse.....therefore the tweet.

      I don't think I've ever accused you of "killing people". Homeopathy can, when relied on for anything serious. But I don't think I've accused Sandra of being directly responsible. I just think it's horrible that someone would have such a gleeful response to the thought of a section of the population dying. I still do.

      As for the lying accusations this would easily be remedied by not lying. The accusations I've seen have only been made when you've been caught in an obvious lie.

      "I have no apologies for it."

      Uh... Are you lying now or were you lying when you posted this: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/11566362/Homeopathy-on-the-NHS-to-be-reviewed.html#comment-2021578766

      Acleron >> Sandra Courtney • 2 days ago Apologise for it, that's the least you could do.

      Sandra Courtney >> Acleron • 2 days ago I did at the time, then deleted it.

      Alan Henness >> Sandra Courtney • 2 days ago You apologised for something, then you deleted your apology???

      "I'm a human being with feelings and emotions just like everyone else. Now, on article chats where I defend homeopathy someone will post the image of my tweet in an effort to stop me for speaking out in support of homeopathy."

      It's not about stopping you speaking out. It's about allowing people know the psyche of the person they are dealing with.

      Regarding the post of mine above; I stand by that.

      "Note to the anti homeopathy "skeptics"...I don't plan to stop speaking out on behalf of homeopathy. Deal with it!"

      The pro-science crowd has been put on notice. We appear to be dealing with it fine already...

    1. The homeopathy skeptics, how effective are they really?
    2. Homeopathy skeptics say some really DUMB STUFF Homeopathy skeptics say some really DUMB STUFF Part Deux

      Pro-science supporters are people and people say some dumb stuff. Sandra herself is guilty of this too. You can look at her Twitter stream, read her blog or any of the comment threads she participates in to see that. My go to example of this;

      @homeopathy patients live longer. Con med users will die off first It's gonna B great!

    3. The anti-homeopathy peeps are not convincing many notable people, and organizations (including researchers at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Research Center in Texas) that the Saatchi Bill should not be passed. See the comment and impressive list HERE

      The list may have impressed Sandra but the Saatchi BIll was axed.

    1. In this article an alternative approach is offered. The very base of physics and mathematics, on which natural sciences are grounded are time, space and number. Since Immanuel Kant they are believed to be a priori given. Alternatively they can be explained as a consequence of life, such that the outside world in the form, as we perceive it, should no longer be considered independent from us as living beings. Having understood the base of physics, homeopathy does not have to be integrated into an existing system of natural sciences, but can be allowed to be more closely connected to the proper origin of physics, which is life itself.

      The authors have set up a premise that reality as we observe it is dependant on life being present to observe it. They then create a scenario where they attempt to shoehorn homeopathy into that scenario.

      Before they try that surely they should establish that the initial premise is an actual thing. Without that the rest is Sci-fi.

    2. Efforts have been made to integrate homeopathy into the system of natural sciences.

      Does this then imply that homeopathy is an unnatural thing?

    1. Mr Golden

      So... Not a doctor Golden. Kind of like Not a Doctor Wakefiled?

    2. In fact, the constant charges against homeopathy are sponsored by the pharmaceutical companies worried about the growing influence of homeopathic medicines

      For a Doctor to be making such firm claims that they would refer to it as a "fact" I'm certain they could provide the very solid evidence to back it up.

      I, for one, would love to see this evidence. I'm one of the pro-science supporters that rally against the quackery that is Homeopathy. If there is the possibility of being paid for doing what I currently do for free I would love to get my share.

    3. “They always ask for proof to show how homeopathy works. The result the medicine provides does not satisfy them,” he said.

      I would say that Dr Issac Golden is misrepresenting the wider medical community here. Before bothering to ask for how something works (which is an interesting enough question) it needs to be first established that something works. As the scientific method has been further and further refined to remove experimenter bias from influencing the results of a study it has become very clear that Homeopathy is no more than placebo effect, regression to the mean and confirmation bias.

  24. Feb 2015
    1. Gabrielle has conducted double-blind clinical research on concentration difficulties, nervousness and anxiety.

      Gabrielle, I would be interested in seeing your research. Can you point me at the peer-reviewed journals with a decent Impact Factor that it was published in?

    1. At a World Cancer Day symposium, Shripad Naik, Minister of State for AYUSH, asked scientists to look to traditional Indian medicines to treat the disease.

      The Minister of State for Ayush is an idiot. They should be the one asking scientists for advice, not the other way around.

    1. peer-reviewed journals

      I would be very interested in seeing any of these journals that are peer-reviewed, respected within the wider scientific community and have a good impact factor. My experience to date suggests these don't exist. I'm happy to be proven wrong though.

    2. Testimonials, anecdotal reports, memoirs and observations reported by patients.

      In any respected scientific arena this form of information is of no use. At best it could be used to identify something that could become the subject of an hypothesis, which in turn may lead to research to establish validity and hopefully, one day, a theory.

      The fact homeopathy still relies on this form of "evidence" is a major red flag.

  25. Dec 2014