Is homeopathy really banned in Australia

Australia declares war on homeopathy

Since 2013, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has been examining health services that are not considered to be evidence-based. In a procedure that is not dissimilar to the Health Technology Assessment (HTA), 57 systematic reviews and 176 individual scientific studies have now been combined, in which the effectiveness of the teaching established by the German doctor Samuel Hahnemann was examined. The conclusion is: "There is no reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective beyond the placebo effect."

There are a few studies that certify homeopathics to be effective in treating individual diseases; However, these investigations showed considerable deficiencies, so that the results must be regarded as not valid, criticize the study authors. The specific allegations relate to insufficient sample sizes, a lack of randomization of the test subjects and the renouncement of the use of test and control groups.

Driving a rethinking process

Proponents of homeopathy point out that the common scientific instruments are not suitable to prove the healing effect of globules and co. Ultimately, the effect is based on the fact that the homeopathic medicine gives the organism information that it implements in the sense of self-healing and spontaneous healing. The prerequisite is therefore an individual adaptation of the homeopathic medication, says Michael Frass, specialist in internal medicine in Vienna and vice-president of the Medical Association for Classical Homeopathy.

In any case, the authors of the Australian study warn against relying exclusively on homeopathy for chronic or serious illnesses. "People are putting their health at risk by choosing homeopathy and rejecting recognized, effective therapies or starting too late," writes Warwick Anderson, chief health officer.

The aim of the Australian authorities is apparently to trigger a rethinking process among the population. "There will be many people who will blame us for conspiring against homeopathy, but we still hope that there are a lot of sane people who are now rethinking buying such substances," said Paul Glasziou, chairman of the NHMRC -Working group for homeopathy.

The past has at least shown that the authorities' plan could work: When a similar report was published in Great Britain in 2010, sales of homeopathic products fell significantly. (gueb, derStandard.at, March 12, 2015)