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Author Topic: Wie Pseudowissenschaftler an der Homöopathie scheitern  (Read 670 times)

Thymian

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Wie Pseudowissenschaftler an der Homöopathie scheitern
« on: October 29, 2017, 08:44:35 PM »

Wissenschaftler voll verblödet, kann man da nur sagen:

"Our ­purpose is not to seek the prohibition of homeopathic products, and we recognise the fundamental importance of allowing and supporting consumer choice."

Homöopathie ist Betrug und muß verboten werden. Daran besteht nicht der geringste Zweifel.

Doch eine illustre Truppe von Irrlichtern versagt mal wieder völlig. Nicht irgendwer, sondern die Creme de la Creme der europäischen Wissenschaftler:

EASAC, the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council, consists of representatives
of the following European national academies and academic bodies who have issued this
report:

The Austrian Academy of Sciences
The Royal Academies for Science and the Arts of Belgium
The Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
The Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts
The Czech Academy of Sciences
The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters
The Estonian Academy of Sciences
The Council of Finnish Academies
The Académie des sciences (France)
The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
The Academy of Athens
The Hungarian Academy of Sciences
The Royal Irish Academy
The Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (Italy)
The Latvian Academy of Sciences
The Lithuanian Academy of Sciences
The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters
The Polish Academy of Sciences
The Academy of Sciences of Lisbon
The Romanian Academy
The Slovak Academy of Sciences
The Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts
The Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences
The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
The Royal Society (United Kingdom)
Academia Europaea
All European Academies (ALLEA)


Ist das nichts? Und sie alle setzen es mal wieder voll in den Sand. Eine Stellungnahme haben sie verzapft, die mal wieder vor Dummheiten nur so trieft. Das obige Zitat ist eine davon.


Das ganze Geseiere dieser "Wissenschaftler" ist genauso wirr und sinnlos wie das der Homöopathen.

Der Dreh- und Angelpunkt der ganzen Kiste liegt schon im Ansatz:

"Our ­purpose is not to seek the prohibition of homeopathic products, and we recognise the fundamental importance of allowing and supporting consumer choice."

Das ist strunzdumm und grottenfalsch. Warum? Weil man den Kranken das Recht einräumt, auch Mist als Medizin zu nehmen. Aus diesem Recht der Kranken macht man dann das Recht der Betrüger, den Kranken jeden Betrug anzudrehen.

Auch wenn die Kranken das Recht haben sich mit Müll umzubringen, gibt das noch lange Niemandem das Recht, diesen Müll herzustellen, und auch nicht das Recht, Kranken solchen Müll anzudrehen!


Aber genau das, die idiotische Schlußfolgerung "Wenn die Kranken Müll wollen, darf man den auch herstellen und ihnen verkaufen." ist die Richtschnur für die politischen Entscheidungen zum Beispiel im Bundestag.  Das ist kein Witz. Das ist tatsächlich so. Wer es nicht glaubt, darf gerne Einen fragen, der sogar Jurist ist, und der als Krebskranker sogar weiß, wie es ist, eine tödliche Krankheit zu haben: Bosbach. Wer wäre besser zu Fragen geeignet als Bosbach? Nun, man kann ihn ja fragen. Man wird es aber nur ein Mal tun...



Wobei eines zu betonen ist: Die Kranken kommen nicht von sich aus auf dieses oder jenes "Medikament", das nichts als Betrug ist. Nein! Es wird von den Herstellern ausgedacht und dann den Kranken angedreht. So herum funktioniert das. Die ganze Sache geht von den Herstellern aus. Natürlich wissen die Geistesgrößen in Wissenschaft und Politik das. Trotzdem machen sie immer wieder den kapitalen Fehler, aus dem Recht der Kranken ein Recht der Betrüger zu machen, den Kranken jeden Betrug anzudrehen.

Jeder vernunftbegabte Wissenschaftler wird selbstverständlich Homöopathie verbieten. Aber, wie man sieht, sind die Damen und Herren der Ansicht: "Our ­purpose is not to seek the prohibition of homeopathic products". Damit sind sie bereits im Ansatz gescheitert. So schnell geht das, wenn man wie die von Medizin und Logik keine Ahnung hat.

220 Jahre schon betrügen Homöopathen die Menschheit. 220 Jahre! Warum? Weil die "Wissenschaftler" strohdumm sind. Und, wo sie so strohdumm sind, werden sie sich auch weiterhin Jahrhundert um Jahrhundert von den Homöopathen  auf's Kreuz legen lassen.

Die Homöopathen sind Hütchenspieler. Und besonders helle sind sie auch nicht. Und die Wissenschaftler? Die sind noch dümmer und fallen immer wieder und wieder auf sie rein. Wie dumm darf ein Wissenschaftler eigentlich sein?




Jetzt das Machwerk am Stück:

http://www.easac.eu/fileadmin/PDF_s/reports_statements/EASAC_Homepathy_statement_web_final.pdf

[*quote*]
European Academies’ Science Advisory Council

For further information:
secretariat@easac.eu
www.easac.eu
ea sac

Homeopathic products and
practices: assessing the evidence
and ensuring consistency in
regulating medical claims in the EU
Summary
EASAC, the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council, is publishing this Statement
to build on recent work by its member academies to reinforce criticism of the health
and scientific claims made for homeopathic products. The analysis and conclusions are
based on the excellent science-based assessments already published by authoritative and
impartial bodies. The fundamental importance of allowing and supporting consumer
choice requires that consumers and patients are supplied with evidence-based,
accurate and clear information. It is, therefore, essential to ­implement a standardised,
knowledge-based regulatory framework to cover product efficacy, safety and quality, and
accurate advertising practices, across the European Union (EU).
Our Statement examines the following issues:
Scientific mechanisms of action—where we conclude that the claims for
­homeopathy are implausible and inconsistent with established scientific concepts.
Clinical efficacy—we acknowledge that a placebo effect may appear in ­individual
patients but we agree with previous extensive evaluations concluding that there are
no known diseases for which there is robust, reproducible evidence that ­homeopathy
is effective beyond the placebo effect. There are related concerns for patient-informed
consent and for safety, the latter associated with poor quality ­control in preparing
homeopathic remedies.
Promotion of homeopathy—we note that this may pose significant harm to the patient
if incurring delay in seeking evidence-based medical care and that there is a more general
risk of undermining public confidence in the nature and value of ­scientific evidence.
Veterinary practice—we conclude similarly that there is no rigorous evidence to
­substantiate the use of homeopathy in veterinary medicine and it is particularly
worrying when such ­products are used in preference to evidence-based medicinal
products to treat livestock ­infections.
We make the following recommendations.
1.   2.   3.   4.   There should be consistent regulatory requirements to ­demonstrate
­efficacy, safety and quality of all products for human and ­veterinary
medicine, to be based on verifiable and objective evidence, ­commensurate
with the nature of the claims being made. In the absence of this ­evidence, a
product should be neither approvable nor registrable by national ­regulatory
agencies for the designation medicinal product.
Evidence-based public health systems should not reimburse homeopathic
products and practices unless they are demonstrated to be efficacious and
safe by rigorous testing.
The composition of homeopathic remedies should be labelled in a similar way
to other health products available: that is, there should be an accurate, clear and
simple description of the ingredients and their amounts present in the formulation.
Advertising and marketing of ­homeopathic products and services must
­conform to established standards of ­accuracy and clarity. Promotional
claims for efficacy, safety and quality should not be made without
demonstrable and ­reproducible ­evidence.
Homeopathic products and practices | September 2017 | 1


Contents
1   
 Introduction
2   
 Current status of homeopathy: market, regulation and perspectives
2.1   
 Market statistics
2.2   
 Regulatory positions
2.3   
 Previous work by academies and others
3   
3.1   
3.2   
3.3   
3.4   
3.5   
3.6   
Key issues for evaluating and communicating evidence
Scientific implausibility of claims
Clinical efficacy and placebo effects
Quality control and safety
Veterinary applications
Labelling and marketing claims
Public engagement
4   
 Conclusions and recommendations
Appendix 1   
 EASAC Working Group
References
page
3
4
4
4
5
6
6
6
7
7
8
8
9
10
11
EASAC
EASAC – the European Academies' Science Advisory Council – is formed by the national science academies of the EU Member States to enable them to collaborate with each other in giving advice to European policy-makers. It thus provides a means for the collective voice of European science to be heard. EASAC was founded in 2001 at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Its mission reflects the view of academies that science is central to many aspects of modern life and that an appreciation of the scientific dimension is a pre-requisite to wise policy-making. This view already underpins the work of many academies at national level. With the growing importance of the European Union as an arena for policy, academies recognise that the scope of their advisory functions needs to extend beyond the national to cover also the European level. Here it is often the case that a trans-European grouping can be more effective than a body from a single country. The academies of Europe have therefore formed EASAC so that they can speak with a common voice with the goal of building science into policy at EU level.

Through EASAC, the academies work together to provide independent, expert, evidence-based advice about the scientific aspects of public policy to those who make or influence policy within the European institutions. Drawing on the memberships and networks of the academies, EASAC accesses the best of European science in carrying out its work. Its views are vigorously independent of commercial or political bias, and it is open and transparent in its processes. EASAC aims to deliver advice that is comprehensible, relevant and timely.
EASAC covers all scientific and technical disciplines, and its experts are drawn from all the countries of the European Union. It is funded by the member academies and by contracts with interested bodies. The expert members of EASAC’s working groups give their time free of charge. EASAC has no commercial or business sponsors.

EASAC’s activities include substantive studies of the scientific aspects of policy issues, reviews and advice about specific policy documents, workshops aimed at identifying current scientific thinking about major policy issues or at briefing policy-makers, and short, timely statements on topical subjects.

The EASAC Council has 29 individual members – highly experienced scientists nominated one each by the national science acad-emies of EU Member States, by the Academia Europaea and by ALLEA. The national science academies of Norway and Switzerland are also represented. The Council is supported by a professional Secretariat based at the Leopoldina, the German National Academy of Sciences, in Halle (Saale) and by a Brussels Office at the Royal Academies for Science and the Arts of Belgium.

To find out more about EASAC, visit the website – www.easac.eu – or contact the EASAC Secretariat at
secretariat@easac.eu
2 | September 2017 | Homeopathic products and practices

1 Introduction
Homeopathy is a concept for the manufacture and
use of various highly diluted products to treat diseases,
which was created in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann.
His doctrine was based on ‘like cures like’, whereby a
substance that causes a symptom is used to treat the
same symptom in illness. A second central principle is
the ‘law of infinitesimals’, which involves a process of
serial dilution and shaking (succussion) that is asserted
to increase potency. Some practitioners claim that
homeopathy works by stimulating the body to heal
itself.


Many scientists and medical doctors are very critical of
the health claims made for homeopathic products and
practices and consider the explanations advanced for
their efficacy scientifically implausible.

EASAC is publishing this Statement to reinforce and
reiterate this extensive and well-founded critique,
and to encourage and support (1) policy-makers in
the EU in taking a more explicitly evidence-based
approach to assessing the claims for homeopathy and
(2) all those interested in stimulating better ­public
­engagement with these contentious issues and in
improving consumers’ rights to correct ­information.
In preparing our Statement, EASAC is building on
work already done by its member ­academies1, in
­particular the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
(KVA, 2015). Our Statement is prepared with the
help of an expert Working Group (Appendix 1)
whose members were nominated by the constituent
­academies of EASAC.
We decided that our task was not to reanalyse all of
the evidence available for or against the claims for
homeopathic products but to draw upon the ­excellent
science-based assessments performed by other
authoritative and impartial bodies. Our ­purpose is
not to seek the prohibition of homeopathic products,
and we recognise the fundamental importance
of allowing and supporting consumer choice.

Rather, we aim to explore the policy dimensions for
­ensuring informed patient choice with the ­emphasis
on ­‘appropriately informed’, and for achieving a
­standardised knowledge-based, robust regulatory
framework and sound advertising practices across
the EU, which can apply equitably to all medicinal
products, whatever their ­origins and whatever their
mechanisms. Regulatory procedures for health
Box 1 Wider strategic issues relating to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) (including
homeopathy)
In a statement published in 2015, the Standing Committee of European Doctors (CPME)2 expressed grave
concern at the widespread lack of legal safeguards for patients who choose CAM; these products being mostly
unregulated in many EU Member States may pose significant risks to the health and safety of patients. The CPME
advised that legal ­measures are required to prevent providers of alternative practices and therapies from making
unfounded promises and using misleading advertising.
The European Commission-funded Framework Programme 7 project CAMbrella aimed to develop a roadmap
for future European research in CAM3. The project concluded, ‘In general, CAM should be considered along
the same scientific lines that apply to medical research...’. One of the work streams in CAMbrella was to assess
citizens’ needs in terms of access to CAM, access to information about CAM, and quality of care. This analysis
showed that there are multiple dilemmas and tensions in the public health ethics of CAM but recommended
that ­ p
ublic health ethics should pertain to CAM as to other forms of healthcare (Nissen et al. 2013). CAM ethical
issues are discussed in detail in a recent special issue of the journal Bioethics (Smith et al. 2016).
In its Traditional Medicines Strategy for the period 2014–2023 4, the World Health Organization (WHO) has
objectives to develop more coherence and ­consistency among countries. WHO ­priorities include promoting
efficacy, safety and quality of traditional ­medicines by expanding the knowledge base, providing guidance
on regulatory and quality assurance standards, and by supporting therapeutically sound use of appropriate
traditional medicines by practitioners and consumers. Although the WHO strategy ­mentions homeopathy and
anthroposophic medicine, it gives them little attention (by comparison with herbal medicines, for example) and
does not explain how its priorities would be met in these ­categories. A case can be made that the WHO should
develop a more sceptical and differentiated perspective on the claims, and the evidence available to substantiate
those claims, of different ­categories of traditional medicine.
1
    The topic is of interest also to academies worldwide. For example, the Russian Academy of Sciences recently published a Statement to
conclude that homeopathy has no scientific grounds and is not safe, http://klnran.ru/2017/02/memorandum02-homeopathy.
2
 CPME position paper on complementary and alternative treatments, adopted by CPME Board 23 May 2015, CPME 2013/130 Final, on
www.cpme.eu/cpme-position-paper-on-complementary-and-alternative-treatments/.
3
 Final Report on Cambrella, A Pan-European research network for complementary and alternative medicine, 1 July 2013 and individual
Work Package documents on www.cambrella.eu.
4
 www.who.int/medicines/publications/traditional/trm_strategy14_23/en.
Homeopathic products and practices | September 2017 | 3
matters are of ­crucial importance and need to be
based on excellent science.
Our recommendations are addressed to policy makers
in EU institutions and in the Member States, to our
academy members and others in the scientific and
medical communities, and to all those who have
a responsibility for outreach and informing public
engagement. Our present focus is on homeopathy
but in our preliminary EASAC deliberations we
considered whether we should adopt a wider remit
to cover other complementary and alternative
medicine (CAM) products, for example to widen the
scope to include herbal medicines and nutritional
supplements. Other CAM products may be included in
the concerns expressed by many in the scientific and
medical communities about a lack of evidence base
and inconsistencies in the operation of the EU product
assessment system, which may emphasise product
safety (harmlessness) but not efficacy (see Box 1 for
further discussion). The Working Group advised that
the claims for homeopathy were sufficiently distinctive
to warrant a separate and focussed examination,
although this Statement will also refer to issues that
may be relevant more widely to consideration of CAM
practices.
2 Current status of homeopathy:
­market, regulation and perspectives
2.1 Market statistics
According to data from the homeopathic
producers group ECHAMP (the European Coalition
of Homeopathic and Anthroposophic Medical
Products, www.echamp.eu) in 2015 the market for
homeopathic and anthroposophic medicinal products
in the EU was greater than €1 billion. This market
is growing by 6% annually and accounts for 7% of
the total EU market for non-prescription medical
products. The US market for homeopathic products is
larger (greater than $3 billion in 2015) and according
to one analysis the homeopathy market worldwide
will exhibit substantial annual growth up to 2024
(Transparency Market Research, TMR 2016).
In the EU, again according to ECHAMP data, the
homeopathy sector, from manufacturing to sales,
employs about 10,000 people, mainly in Germany,
France, Italy and Spain, where the larger companies
are located. The five largest companies account for
about 70% of the sector. Pharmacies are the main
channel for sale of homeopathic products.
5
    Based on 2014 data from the European Social Survey (http://www.europeansocialsurvey.org)http://www.natcen.ac.uk/blog/when-i-get-that-feeling-i-want-spiritual-healing-alternative-medicine-use-in-europe.
6
 http://nafkam-camregulation.uit.no/therapies/homeopathy/.
7
 Article 1 in 2004/27: Homeopathic medical product is defined as awith a homeopathic manufacturing procedure.
The extent of homeopathic practices varies across
European countries, as does the extent to which
homeopathy is included in public health systems and
national health insurance coverage. Homeopathy is at
least partly reimbursed by social security or insuranceFrance and Belgium for example. Usage data obtained
from social surveys may depend on the methodology
employed as well as on the respondent knowing
what a homeopathic product is. Recent comparative
European data from a social survey 5 show that the
proportion of the population using homeopathy (in the
previous 12 months) ranged from 1% (for example, the
UK, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Poland and Sweden)
to 2–4% (for example, Czech Republic, Estonia,
Spain, Finland, Hungary, Portugal, Slovenia and the
Netherlands), to 7–10% (for example, Belgium, Lithuania
and Switzerland) and up to 11–13% (Austria, France
and Germany). The ECHAMP 2015 review also shows
that demand for homeopathic products (in terms of
GDP-adjusted sales per head of population) was greatest
in France, and Germany, then Bulgaria, Italy, Lithuania,
Austria and Belgium. Recent industry growth was
highest (but in some cases from a low starting point) in
Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Ireland, Romania and Slovakia.
According to ECHAMP data, the relative number of
homeopathic prescribers ­(compared with population)
is highest in Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria and the Czech
Republic.
2.2 Regulatory positions
Extensive description of the legal and regulatory status,
government supervision and reimbursement statusEU and other European countries for homeopathy is
provided by the Norwegian National Research Center
on Complementary and Alternative Medicine6.
Homeopathy legislation for human applications derives
from Directive 2001/83/EC as amended in Directive
2004/27. This Directive defines a homeopathic
­medical product7 and requires Member States to
ensure that such products can be registered without
proof of therapeutic efficacy, provided there is a
significant degree of dilution, from the original
stock, to guarantee safety of the product (at least 1
in 10,000). Mutual Recognition and Decentralised
Procedures manage the approval of homeopathic
products, and these ­procedures are National
Competent Authority-driven (with the European
Medicines Agency, which provides the secretariat forcoordination group). The European Medicines Agency
organised a workshop in 2006 to bring together the
various ­homeopathic ­practitioners to hear their views
as discussed (February 2016) on
in
in
a
medical product prepared from homeopathic stocks in accordance
4 | September 2017 | Homeopathic products and practices
on reforming the ­system8. The National Competent
Authorities p
 ­ articipate in a ­network of the Heads
of the Medicines Agencies and this network has a
Homeopathic Medicinal Products Working Group
(HMPWG)9 with a remit that includes exchange of
regulatory and ­scientific expertise and ­production of
guidance on assessment.
In response to the EU Directive, Member States have
introduced various regulatory schemes. Broadly,
there are two possible procedures for registering
­homeopathic products:
•   
 simplified registration scheme—if diluted
enough to guarantee safety, but does not allow
specification of a particular clinical ­indication;
•   
 national rules scheme—submitting data on
quality and safety allows the claim, if used
within the homeopathic tradition, for specific
conditions (minor symptoms and conditions,
which do not require the supervision of a
­doctor).
However, in many Member States, once a product is
on the market there may be relatively little control on
how it is promoted and used.
2.3 Previous work by academies and others
Royal Swedish Academy
In 2015, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
(KVA) made a critical statement in response to a report
from the Swedish Medical Products Agency on how
incorporation of anthroposophical homeopathic
products into the Swedish directive on medicinal
products could be constructed. KVA advised that this
move would run counter to several of the fundamental
principles about evidence-based medicine and
medicinal products. In particular, KVA opposed the
use of the term ‘medicinal product’ for substances
lacking scientifically documented effects, noting that
there is no scientific evidence for clinical effects of
homeopathic preparations and that high dilution rules
out effects by any known mechanisms. If any product
might be considered to have effects justifying its use
for treatment of disease, it should be evaluated by the
same standards as other candidate drugs.
Recently the Swedish Ministry of Health has announced
that the traditional exemption for ­anthroposophical
homeopathic products (allowing specification of a
c ­ linical indication without substantial evidence of
­efficacy) will be renewed only for another 2 years. After
a further 3-year transition phase, such ­anthroposophical
products would have to follow the same route to
­registration as other homeopathic products.
Hungary
In a brief statement in 2015, the Hungarian Academy
of Sciences Section of Medical Sciences expressed
support for the KVA work and concluded that
­homeopathic products should follow the same strict
scientific standards as ‘normal’ drugs10.
UK
In 1999, the Royal Society submitted comments
­critical of CAM to the UK parliamentary House of
Lords inquiry into CAM including homeopathy11,
noting the importance of careful evaluation of
effectiveness and safety and supporting the values
and methods of verifiable science: that is, requiring
an evidence base from clinical research. When the UK
medicines regulatory agency introduced the national
rules scheme in 2006, criticism was expressed by the
Royal Society together with the Academy of Medical
Sciences on the grounds that efficacy claims should
always be based on ­rigorous and objective evidence.
A comprehensive assessment by a UK parliamentary
inquiry (House of Commons, 2010) also concluded
that the evidence for efficacy of homeopathy
products was weak and scientifically implausible
and that ‘In our view, the systematic reviews and
­meta-analysis conclusively demonstrate that
­homeopathic products perform no better than
­placebo.’ This parliamentary committee also noted
that the rigorous scrutiny on safety, quality and
efficacy, applied by the UK medicines regulatory
agency before medicines can be used by patients, was
not applied to homeopathic products—but should be.
The UK Government was urged to withdraw public
funding and medicines licensing from homeopathy.
Australian National Health and Medical
Research Council
A comprehensive assessment of evidence (NHMRC,
2015)12 by the Australian Government’s National
Health and Medical Research Council ­analysed
57 ­ systematic reviews on 68 health conditions.
These ­conditions included rheumatoid arthritis,
radiodermatitis, stomatitis due to chemotherapy,
8
    Report on EMEA workshop on homeopathic medicinal products, http://www.ema.europa.eu/docs/en_GB/document_library/
Report/2009/11/WC500012237.pdf.
9
 www.hma.eu/380.html.
10
 http://goo.gl/WMnxjC.
11
 https://royalsociety.org/~/media/Royal_Society_content/policy/publications/1999/10080.pdf.
12
 Also discussed by P Glasziou, who chaired the Working Party, 16 February 2016, on www.blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2016/02/16/paul-glasziou-
still-no-evidence-for-homeopathy.
Homeopathic products and practices | September 2017 | 5
HIV, asthma, anxiety, depression, attention-deficit–
hyperactive ­disorder (ADHD) in children, malaria and
stroke, although claims for these last indications
and ­others were based on only a single study. The
Australian review concluded that there are no
known diseases for which there is reliable evidence
that homeopathy is effective and advised that
‘Homeopathy should not be used to treat health
conditions that are chronic, ­serious or could become
serious’.
3 Key issues for evaluating and
­communicating evidence
In reviewing the outputs from the initiatives described
in the preceding chapter, and considering the evidence
available from other peer-reviewed sources, the
Working Group identified a range of key issues to
inform the EASAC recommendations.
3.1 Scientific implausibility of claims
Many homeopathic remedies are prepared from
­substances that have been diluted so many times
that none of the original substance remains. Some
­homeopathic practitioners believe that, as a result of
the succussion process, the original substance leaves
an ‘imprint’ of itself on the water.
An explanation of a mechanism of action should be
both scientifically plausible and demonstrable but the
justifications of homeopathy have not fulfilled these
criteria (House of Commons, 2010; Grimes, 2012).
In general, the claims for homeopathy run counter to
a very large body of evidence on the dose–response
relationship in medicine and its long-established
explanation in terms of drug–receptor interaction
(see, for example, Tallarida and Jacob, 1979), a
central principle in pharmacology that continues to
be substantiated in more recent research (see, for
example, Aronson, 2007). There is lack of scientific
support for all the ­various mechanisms claimed in
homeopathy, for example vitalism, electromagnetic
signals and water memory (Grimes, 2012).
In particular, as discussed by the Working Group,
detailed scientific analysis of the influence of dissolved
species on the structure and dynamics of water has
refuted the homeopathic claim that water retains
a memory even long after the last molecule of
homeopathic entity has been removed by serial dilution.
The impact of dissolved species on water is short-range
(of the order of nanometres, 10−9 metres), does not
extend beyond their immediate hydration layer and
does not demonstrate any long-term (nanoseconds,
10 −9 seconds or even shorter) cooperative effect:
the predictions from theoretical scientific studies
13
     http://www.cochrane.org/search/site/homeopathy.
are in agreement with the results of spectroscopic
measurements and emphasise the untenability of ideas
about long-range molecular order effects in space
and time (Anick, 2004; Cowan, 2005; Texeira, 2007;
Jungwirth, 2011; Stirnemann et al. 2013). Thus, the
homeopathy proposition that efficacy can be explained
by a long-term memory of water has been proved
scientifically unfounded and implausible (Texeira, 2007;
Jungwirth, 2011).
3.2 Clinical efficacy and placebo effects
The outputs from the authoritative bodies discussed
in section 2 are substantiated by the conclusions from
other major reviews. These include the following:
1.   2.   3.   Comprehensive literature analysis of
110 homeopathy trials and 110 matched
­conventional medicine trials, exploring issues
for ­random variation, publication bias and
placebo effect (Shang et al. 2005). The finding
from this assessment is compatible with the
notion that the clinical effects of homeopathy
are placebo effects.
An assessment of five large meta-analyses
of homeopathy trials, including Shang et al.
(2005), concluded that they all yielded the
same conclusion (Goldacre, 2007). After
excluding methodologically inadequate trials
and accounting for publication bias and likely
random statistical variation, this evaluation
confirmed that homeopathy produced no
­statistically significant effect over ­placebo.
The continuing work of the Cochrane Reviews
is also particularly important because their
­systematic assessments are characterised by
rigorous peer-reviewed protocols, ­standardised
evaluation procedures and transparent data
analysis. Cochrane Reviews of ­homeopathy
treatments include those for asthma,
dementia, induction of labour, ADHD, irritable
bowel syndrome and influenza. For each of
these indications, the review concluded that
there was no or insufficient evidence to reliably
assess a possible effect of homeopathy13.
Working Group discussion emphasised that the
therapeutic effect of the homeopathic preparation
as perceived by the patient will be due to its
placebo effect. In addition to the placebo effect,
other ­ p
henomena such as the natural course of the
illness and regression to the mean, may contribute
to the overall perception that homeopathy is of
benefit. In any case, it raises issues of concern
for patient-informed consent when the health
practitioner recommends products that they know
are biologically ineffective. Moreover, the Working
6 | September 2017 | Homeopathic products and practices
Group emphasised that the benefit of any placebo
effect may be offset by significant harms in
homeopathy practice. The use of a homeopathic
product by a patient may delay the seeking of more
appropriate, evidence-based, medical care: examples
of harm incurred are discussed in the sources
cited previously (House of Commons 2010; CPME
(see footnote 2)). This harm may be exacerbated
by a routine feature of homeopathic marketing
practice, which is to denigrate mainstream medicine
(Goldacre, 2007). More general harm also accrues in
consequence of public confusion about the nature
and value of scientific evidence in decision making.
As noted in section 2, some Member States allow
the use of homeopathic products in public health
systems to be reimbursed. The Working Group advised
that in the absence of robust evidence for efficacy,
reimbursement listing should be reconsidered—a
standard ­medicines policy instrument in times of
austerity (Vogel et al. 2016) that should certainly be
extended to homeopathic products.
Space does not now allow a full review of the literature
discussing the efficacy of homeopathy, but contested
claims were discussed further in a debate published
in the British Medical Journal (Fisher and Ernst, 2015).
We provide in Box 2 a list of disparate sectoral sources
Box 2 Sector sources of information on ­homeopathyof some of those who support or promote the claims
of homeopathy and can provide leads to their own
research.
3.3 Quality control and safety
Although it has been customarily assumed that a
homeopathic preparation is diluted to a degree where
there should be no safety concerns, this may not
­necessarily happen in practice. For example, in a recent
US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigation,
severe adverse events, including infant deaths,
were found to have been reported for homeopathic
teething products (Abbasi, 2017). The toxicity was
associated with varying levels of the starting material,
belladonna, in the product. This, and other US
evidence (Abbasi, 2017), raises important issues for
regulatory oversight to ensure product quality control,
assess safety and provide patient information on
homeopathic products.
3.4 Veterinary applications
The use of homeopathic products in veterinary
medicine is also controversial, and the recent
implementation of EU rules risks undermining
science-based farming practices. The European
Commission Regulation EC No. 889/200814 lays down
claims
Among the interest groups of those who use, evaluate, manufacture, support or promote homeopathic
products and services are the following:
AESGP: Association of the European Self-Medication Industry, www.aesgp.eu
ECHAMP: European Coalition of Homeopathic and Anthroposophic Medical Products, www.echamp.eu
CAMDOC: Alliance of ECH, ECPM and others, www.camdoc.eu
ECCH: European Central Council of Homeopaths, www.homeopathy-ecch.eu
ECH: European Committee for Homeopathy, www.homeopathyeurope.org
ECPM: European Council of doctors for Plurality in Medicine, www.ecpm-europe.ch
EFCAM: European Forum for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, www.efcam.eu
EFHPA: European Federation of Homeopathic Patients’ Associations, www.efhpa.com/cms
EFPAM European Federation of Patients’ Associations for Anthroposophic Medicine, www.efpam.eu
EUROCAM: Network of European organisations representing CAM patients, professionals and others,
www.cam-europe.eu
HRI: Homeopathy Research Institute, www.hri-research.org
IAAP: International Association of Anthroposophic Pharmacists, www.iaap.org.uk
ISCMR: International Society for Complementary Medicine Research, www.iscmr.org
IVAA, International Federation of Anthroposophic Medical Associations, www.ivaa.info
WHAO: World Homeopathy Awareness Organization, www.worldhomeopathy.org
14
     https://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/organic/eu-policy/eu-legislation_eu.
Homeopathic products and practices | September 2017 | 7
detailed rules for production and labelling of organic
products. Article 24 of this Regulation specifies that
organic farmers should use homeopathic products in
preference to antibiotics and other evidence-based
veterinary treatments. Although an antibiotic can be
used subsequently if the homeopathic remedy is found
ineffective, this risks delay with potential harm for
livestock and spread of the infection to other animals.
A recent comprehensive systematic review of the
scientific literature on homeopathy in farming
(Doehring and Sundrum, 2016) evaluated whether
such remedies could replace the use of antibiotics for
infectious disease or growth promotion (antibiotics
are now banned for livestock growth promotion in
the EU). This review noted that some studies were
in favour of homeopathy, but that there was large
heterogeneity in conditions, study conduct and the
scientific quality of trials. The results from those
studies supporting homeopathy lacked reproducibility
and the systematic review concluded, ‘Within the
studies considered, the use of the same remedy
administered to the same species with a comparable
medical condition was never repeated’ and ‘Replacing
or reducing antibiotics with homeopathy currently
cannot be recommended unless evidence of efficacy is
reproduced by randomised clinical trials and proven in
various farm practice conditions.’ 15
Thus, while EASAC recognises the strategic
importance of attempts to reduce antibiotic use
in animals as part of broader efforts to control the
problem of ­antibiotic resistance in patients (EASAC
and FEAM, 2016), the use of non-scientific alternatives
is not advisable. The proliferation of unfounded
homeopathic practices should not be encouraged in
either veterinary or human medicine.
3.5 Labelling and marketing claims
As emphasised by the UK House of Commons inquiry
(2010), deficient labelling lends a spurious medical
legitimacy to homeopathic products. The problem is
exacerbated because, although EU labelling regulations
usually require all pre-packaged products to contain a
list of ingredients and quantities, an exception is made
for homeopathic products, which are labelled with the
scientific name of the stock material followed by degree
of dilution. It is unlikely that the user understands that
there is no active ingredient, or only a minuscule amount
thereof, in the final preparation (Hansson, 2013).
EU legislation provides for consumer law protection,
specifying advertising standards on evidence-based
claims. The EU Directive 2005/29/EC on Unfair
Commercial Practices prohibits misleading marketing
but, with regard to health-related claims, the Directive
notes that such claims may already be covered at
the European Commission level by other specific
legislation, for example on medicinal products.
EU Member States interpret the EU intention to
control misleading claims more or less stringently.
For example, in 2016, the UK Advertising Standards
Authority announced that it had seen no robust
evidence that homeopathy works. The Advertising
Standards Authority advised that ‘Practitioners should
therefore avoid making direct or implied claims that
homeopathy can treat medical conditions.’16
Also in late 2016, the US Federal Trade Commission
(FTC) announced a new Enforcement Policy Statement
on Marketing Claims for Over-the-Counter (OTC)
Homeopathic Drugs 17. This policy statement explains
that the FTC will hold efficacy and safety claims for
homeopathic drugs to the same standard as other
products making similar claims. That is, companies
must have competent and reliable scientific evidence
for health-related claims. However, for the vast majority
of homeopathic drugs, the policy statement observes
‘the case for efficacy is based solely on traditional
homeopathic theories and there are no valid studies
using current scientific methods showing the product’s
efficacy. As such, the marketing claims for these
products are likely misleading in violation of the FTC
Act.’ This is an important international development
although there is still scope for the US federal agencies
– including the FDA – to improve harmonization of their
approaches to regulating homeopathic products, and
in particular to reconsider the OTC status of products
that do not meet the same standards of proof applied
to conventional medicines (Podolsky and Kesselheim,
2016)18.
3.6 Public engagement
The continuing popularity of homeopathic products
worldwide might be taken as demonstrating an
unfortunate point – that scientific evidence is not always
15
    An accompanying press release summarises the conclusion ‘There is insufficient evidence to support the use of homeopathy in
food producing animals as a way to prevent or treat infectious diseases.’ See www.bmj.com/company/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/
vet-record-homeopathy-livestock.pdf. The systematic review is also discussed in detail by a group of experts (December 2016) on www.
sciencemediacentre.org/expert-reaction-to-literature-review-on-efficacy-of-homeopathy-in-livestock.
16
    ‘Advertising standards for homeopathy’, 29 September 2016, www.asa.org.uk/news/advertising-standards-for-homeopathy.html.
17
    FTC Press Release 15 November 2016 ‘FTC issues enforcement policy statement regarding marketing claims for over-the-counter
homeopathic drugs. On www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2016/11/ftc-issues-enforcement-policy-statement-regarding-marketing. Text of
the Federal Register notice is on www.ftc.gov/policy/federal-register-notices/federal-trade-commission-enforcement-policy-statement-marketing.
18
    For further information on how the FDA regulates homeopathic remedies, see the National Centre for Complementary and Integrative
Health, https://nccih.nih.gov/health/homeopathy.
8 | September 2017 | Homeopathic products and practices
relevant to the policy maker nor understood by the
public-at-large. In this eventuality, there might be only
limited room for optimism that EASAC and others – in
reiterating that homeopathic products and practices lack
proof of efficacy– could influence the present situation.
However, the recent decline in the use of homeopathy
in public health services in some Member States (for
example, the UK National Health Service (Samarasekera,
2007)) might be interpreted as the gradual professional
and public response to the accumulating advice on
lack of evidence for efficacy. A recent case study
(Crawford, 2016) of the UK Glasgow Homeopathic
Hospital concluded that homeopathy advocates have
been unsuccessful in maintaining and repairing moral
legitimacy for homeopathy and suggests that there
is an encouraging development towards open and
transparent accountability for using limited public
resources to maximise society’s health and well-being.
The Working Group emphasised that there is much
still to be done to inform public engagement. For
example, it has been observed that public support
for homeopathy might be partly because it is often
confused with natural products such as herbal
medicines; although many herbal medicines are
unproven, some may have scientific plausibility, unlike
homeopathy (Samarasekera, 2007).
Among key groups who shape public attitudes are
journalists, and it has been shown that journalists’
attitudes to homeopathy influence their reporting
(Arendt, 2016). Therefore, engaging with journalists in
their function as ‘gatekeepers’ of scientific knowledge
is a critical task in facilitating the better dissemination
of evidence-based scientific knowledge (Arendt,
2016). Academies of science have a responsibility to
help lead the discussion.
4 Conclusions and recommendations
There must be parity of assessment in medicine. EASAC
agrees that ‘There cannot be two kinds of medicine –
conventional and alternative. There is only medicine
that has been adequately tested and medicine that
has not ...’ (Angell and Kassirer, 1998). As noted in
section 1, the purpose of the present Statement is to
explore the issues surrounding the objective to hold
homeopathy to the same scientific standards of proof
as any other form of medicine. The level of evidence
furnished must always be commensurate with the
claims being made. Academies worldwide have
significant interest in examining the issues for a wide
range of approaches in medicine and emphasise the
common need to ­generate robust scientific evidence19.
Based on the Working Group discussion of the points
presented in the previous sections of this Statement,
EASAC makes the following conclusions.
•   
•   
•   
•   
•   
•   
Any claimed efficacy of homeopathic products
in clinical use can be explained by the ­placebo
effect or attributed to poor study design,
random variation, regression towards the
mean, or publication bias. Among these, the
placebo effect can be of value to the patient
but there are no known diseases for which
there is robust, reproducible evidence that
homeopathy is effective beyond the placebo
effect.
Homeopathy raises issues of concern
for patient-informed consent if health
practitioners recommend products that they
know are biologically ineffective.
There are also potential safety concerns for
homeopathic preparations because of poorly
monitored production methods, and these
require greater attention to quality control
and assessment of adverse effects.
The scientific claims made for homeopathy
are implausible and inconsistent with
­established concepts from chemistry and
physics. In particular, the memory effects
of water are too short-range and transient
(occurring within the nanometre and
nanosecond range) to account for any
claimed efficacy.
The promotion and use of homeopathic
products risks significant harms. First,
by incurring delay in the patient seeking
appropriate, evidence-based, medical
attention or, even worse, deterring the patient
from ever doing so. Secondly, by generally
undermining patient and public confidence
in the nature and value of scientific evidence
for decision making in health care and other
societal ­priorities.
In the absence of similarly robust evidence for
homeopathic products in veterinary medicine,
it is an error to require organic farmers to use
these products in preference to prevention
or treatment for which there is demonstrable
efficacy and an established mode of action.
EASAC recommends the following.
•   
There should be a consistent regulatory
requirement for claims for the efficacy, safety
and quality of all medicinal products to be
based on verifiable and objective evidence,
19
    For example, the The InterAcademy Medical Panel symposium in 2015 ‘Exploring traditional medicine’, http://www.iamp-online.org/
content/exploring-traditional-medicine.
Homeopathic products and practices | September 2017 | 9
•   
•   
commensurate with the claims being made.
The necessity for robust data applies to
products for both human and veterinary
medicine. In the absence of such robust and
verifiable evidence, a product should not be
approvable by national regulatory agencies
for the designation medicinal product.
Public health-system budgets are under
increasing pressure. Evidence-based
public health systems should not offer
­reimbursement for homeopathic products
and services unless they are demonstrated to
be efficacious and safe by rigorous testing.
The composition of homeopathic products
should be labelled in a similar way to
other health products available in the
pharmacy (OTC) or elsewhere. That is, the
current exceptional labelling permitted for
homeopathic products should be replaced by
a simple description of the ingredients and
their amounts present in the formulation.
•   
Advertising and marketing of homeopathic
products and services must be regulated to be
accurate and clear: advertising claims made
for efficacy and safety should not be allowed
without demonstrable and reproducible
evidence.
Our recommendations on testing, regulation,
labelling and marketing have significant implications
for the European Commission: in particular, for
DG Sante (human and veterinary medicine),
European Medicines Agency, and DG Justice and
Consumers. There are also major implications
for Member State health services and medicine
regulatory agencies. In addition, there are significant
challenges for patient education and dialogue,
and public engagement. Our final recommendation
is to our EASAC member academies: they should
consider how they can now facilitate further
discussion and action on the issues presented in this
statement.
Appendix 1    EASAC Working Group
This Statement was prepared by consultation with a Working Group of experts acting in an individual capacity,
nominated by member academies of EASAC:
Volker ter Meulen (Chair, Germany)
Jean-Francois Bach (France)
Helmut Denk (Austria)
Georg Ertl (Germany)
George Griffin (UK)
Kristian Gundersen (Norway)
Pavel Jungwirth (Czech Republic)
Dan Larhammar (Sweden)
Vecsei Laszlo (Hungary)
Alberto Mantovani (Italy)
Jos van der Meer (the Netherlands)
Robin Fears (secretariat, UK)
The scope for this project was discussed at a preliminary meeting between the EASAC Bureau and KVA in
September 2015 (Stockholm, Sweden) with further discussions at Council meetings in Smolenice, Slovakia
(November 2015) and Oslo, Norway (May 2016).
The Working Group was formed during the autumn of 2016 and met in January 2017 (Berlin, Germany). The
output from the Working Group was peer reviewed by independent reviewers nominated by EASAC member
academies.
EASAC thanks the Working Group members for their insight, commitment and support, and ­members of the
EASAC Biosciences Steering Panel and the peer reviewers for their advice and guidance.
10 | September 2017 | Homeopathic products and practices
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EASAC, the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council, consists of representatives
of the following European national academies and academic bodies who have issued this
report:
The Austrian Academy of Sciences
The Royal Academies for Science and the Arts of Belgium
The Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
The Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts
The Czech Academy of Sciences
The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters
The Estonian Academy of Sciences
The Council of Finnish Academies
The Académie des sciences (France)
The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
The Academy of Athens
The Hungarian Academy of Sciences
The Royal Irish Academy
The Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (Italy)
The Latvian Academy of Sciences
The Lithuanian Academy of Sciences
The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters
The Polish Academy of Sciences
The Academy of Sciences of Lisbon
The Romanian Academy
The Slovak Academy of Sciences
The Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts
The Spanish Royal Academy of Sciences
The Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
The Royal Society (United Kingdom)
Academia Europaea
All European Academies (ALLEA)
EASAC acknowledges the special contribution and input of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in this project.
The affiliated network for Europe of
Printed on FSC paper.
EASAC Secretariat
Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina
German National Academy of Sciences
Jägerberg 1, 06108 Halle (Saale), Germany
Tel: +49 (0)345 4723 9833; fax: +49 (0)345 4723 9839
Email: secretariat@easac.eu   
EASAC Brussels Office
Royal Academies for Science and the Arts of Belgium (RASAB)
Hertogsstraat 1 Rue Ducale, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 (2) 550 23 32; fax: +32 (2) 550 23 78
Email: brusselsoffice@easac.eu
web: www.easac.eu
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