Confessions of a Quackbuster

This blog deals with healthcare consumer protection, and is therefore about quackery, healthfraud, chiropractic, and other forms of so-Called "Alternative" Medicine (sCAM).

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Study says homeopathic medicines don’t work

Study says homeopathic medicines don’t work
Evidence suggests remedies offer placebo effect, but no real benefits

Updated: 12:14 p.m. ET Aug. 26, 2005
LONDON - The world may be beating a path to the doors of homeopathic practitioners as an alternative to conventional medicines, but according to a new study they may just as well be taking nothing.

The study, published in Friday’s edition of the respected Lancet medical journal, is likely to anger the growing numbers of devoted practitioners of and adherents to alternative therapies that include homeopathy.

“There was weak evidence for a specific effect of homeopathic remedies, but strong evidence for specific effects of conventional interventions,” the study concluded.

“This finding is compatible with the notion that the clinical effects of homeopathy are placebo effects,” it added after examining findings from 110 homeopathy trials and an equal number of conventional medical trials.

In an editorial, the Lancet urged doctors to tell their patients they were wasting their time taking homeopathic medicines -- but also to make more time to connect with the patients rather than just prescribing and forgetting.

“Now doctors need to be bold and honest with their patients about homeopathy’s lack of benefits, and with themselves about the failings of modern medicine to address patients’ needs for personalized care,” the journal said.

Entitled “The end of homeopathy”, the editorial queried how homeopathy was growing in popularity by leaps and bounds when for the past 150 years trials had found it ineffective.

“It is the attitudes of patients and providers that engender alternative-therapy seeking behaviors which create a greater threat to conventional care -- and patients’ welfare -- than do spurious arguments of putative benefits from absurd dilutions,” it said.



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