After undertaking an extensive review of studies, Australia’s medical researchers have concluded Homeopathy is not effective for treating any health condition.
Homeopaths believe that illness-causing substances can, in minute doses, treat people who are unwell. By adulterating these substances in water or alcohol, homeopaths claim the resulting mixture retains a “memory” of the original substance that triggers a healing reaction to body.
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has for the first time thoroughly reviewed 225 research papers on homeopathy to release its position on Wedensday, about the widely disproved theory of Homeopaths.
“NHMRC concludes that there are no health conditions for which there is reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective,” the report concluded.
“People who select homeopathy may put their health at risk if they delay treatments for which there is good evidence for safety and effectiveness.”
To check bias, an independent company also reviewed the studies and appraised the evidence.
Professor Paul Glasziou, Chair of the NHMRC Homeopathy Working Committee, hoped the findings would lead private health insurers to stop offering rebates on homeopathic treatments.
“There will some people who won’t believethis report, who will say it’s all a conspiracy of the establishment.” Glasziou said, “But we hope there will be a lot of reasonable people out there who will reconsider selling or using these substances.”
The report found that while some studies reported homeopathy was effective, those studies were poor and suffered serious flaws in their design, and did not have enough participants to support the idea that homeopathy worked any better than a sugar pill.
In making its findings, the NHMRC also analyzed 57 systematic reviews, a high-quality type of study that assesses all existing, quality research on a particular topic to create a strong, overall findings.
Glasziou said homeopathy use declined in the UK following a House of Commons report released in 2010 which found the treatments were ineffective. He hopes the NHMRC report would have a similar effect in Australia.
Dr Ken Harvey, a medicinal drug policy expert and health consumer advocate, said private colleges were charging thousands of dollars for courses in homeopathy. He hoped students would reconsider taking them and.
He said, “The government’s Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) should stop accrediting homeopathic courses, while the private health insurance rebate should be not be offered on any policies covering homeopathy and other unproven treatments.”
Approved courses are reviewed by TESQA every seven years, with its own guidelines stating the content of a course should be “drawn from a substantial, coherent and current body of knowledge and scholarship in one or more academic disciplines and includes the study of relevant theoretical frameworks and research findings”.