74 Matching Annotations
  1. Aug 2018
    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)

    1. gender

      Wycombe District Council have got this wring. Gender ius NOT a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010, sex is.

      According to the Equality and Human Rights Commission:

      'Gender’ refers to socially constructed roles of women and men and/or an individual’s conception of their identity. The term is often used interchangeably with ‘sex’, partly in recognition that much of the inequality between women and men is driven by underlying social and power structures rather than by biological sex. Although the Equality Act protects people from discrimination because of their sex, other UK legislation (such as the regulations requiring employers to publish their gender pay gap) refers to gender. This may cause confusion in some circumstances.

      Language and the meaning of words are important and proper understanding of these terms is vital so that staff and the public are aware of what rights they have and what your Public Sector Equality Duty is.

      Mis-stating the protected characteristics under the Act cannot give a good impression to the public and it can only reflect poorly on the organisation. Any confusion or inconsistency over meaning of undefined terms may prevent people from accessing their rights under the law.

  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.

      Comment submitted, awaiting moderation.

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

    3. 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'?

    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. Health Technology Assessment

      This is incorrect.

      It was not a Health Technology Assessment and this error by many homeopaths has been corrected by Dr Felix Gurtner of the Federal Office of Public Health FOPH, Health and Accident Insurance Directorate, Bern, Switzerland.

    4. 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.

    5. 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.

    6. 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. Apr 2018
    1. 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?

  4. Mar 2018
    1. Peccato che non si sia raccontata tutta la storia.

      Wrong. The whole attack by three trans activist assailants on Maria MacLachlan was captured in three separate videos taken from three different angles - including one taken by someone in the group of trans activists. Watch them and read her story here: When vicious entitled thugs attack, I fight back!.

      The three videos are at the top of that blog post, but here they are separately:

      Clear footage of the assault on a woman by transgender activists at Speakers' Corner

      Trans Activists Violently Attack Women at Speakers Corner, London 13092017

      Third video of attack on Maria

      But remember to watch them from the beginning of the attack, not from the end of the attack when MacLachlan was trying to recover her camera from her assailants as those stills show.

      Portraying those carefully selected stills from the end of the attack as if they show 60-year-old MacLachlan was responsible for the attack by three twenty-something assailants simply shows that you have either swallowed the lies put about by some trans activists or that you are incapable of thinking for yourself.

      Which is it?

      By the way, there is a fourth video of the attack: the police have that and it will be shown at the trial in Hendon Magistrates Court in London of one the male attackers on 12 and 13 April 2018. He has been charged with 'assault by beating'.

    2. Too bad that the whole story has not been told.

      Wrong. The whole attack by three trans activist assailants on Maria MacLachlan was captured in three separate videos taken from three different angles - including one taken by someone in the group of trans activists. Watch them and read her story here: When vicious entitled thugs attack, I fight back!.

      The three videos are at the top of that blog post, but here they are separately:

      Clear footage of the assault on a woman by transgender activists at Speakers' Corner

      Trans Activists Violently Attack Women at Speakers Corner, London 13092017

      Third video of attack on Maria

      But remember to watch them from the beginning of the attack, not from the end of the attack when MacLachlan was trying to recover her camera from her assailants as those stills show.

      Portraying those carefully selected stills from the end of the attack as if they show 60-year-old MacLachlan was responsible for the attack by three twenty-something assailants simply shows that you have either swallowed the lies put about by some trans activists or that you are incapable of thinking for yourself.

      Which is it?

      By the way, there is a fourth video of the attack: the police have that and it will be shown at the trial in Hendon Magistrates Court in London of one the male attackers on 12 and 13 April 2018. He has been charged with 'assault by beating'.

  5. 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).
  6. 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.

    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.

    2. 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.
    3. 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.

    4. 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.

    5. 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.

    6. 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,

    7. 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.

    8. 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.

    9. 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.

    10. 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.

    11. 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.

    12. 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.

    13. 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.

    14. 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
    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?

  7. 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. 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.

  8. Sep 2017
    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.

  9. 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.

  10. Jul 2017
    1. homeopathy reimbursement prescription funding

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

  11. May 2017
    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?

  12. 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.

    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.

  13. Feb 2017
    1. 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

    2. 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