People who choose homeopathy may put their health at risk, says Australian study.
March 11, 2015
Homeopathy is not effective for treating any health condition, Australia’s top body for medical research has concluded, after undertaking an extensive review of existing studies.
Homeopaths believe that illness-causing substances can, in minute doses, treat people who are unwell.
By diluting these substances in water or alcohol, homeopaths claim the resulting mixture retains a “memory” of the original substance that triggers a healing response in the body.
These claims have been widely disproven by multiple studies, but the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has for the first time thoroughly reviewed 225 research papers on homeopathy to come up with its position statement, released on Wednesday.
“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,” the report concluded.
“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.”
An independent company also reviewed the studies and appraised the evidence to prevent bias.
Chair of the NHMRC Homeopathy Working Committee, Professor Paul Glasziou, said he hoped the findings would lead private health insurers to stop offering rebates on homeopathic treatments, and force pharmacists to reconsider stocking them.