‘Homeopathy no better than placebo’

It should not be used to treat chronic and serious diseases, say Australian researchers

By Jyotsna Singh
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015


A recent study by an Australian research body is dismissive about the effectiveness of homeopathy. According to the researchers, there is no quality evidence to support the claim that it is an effective means of treatment. They said homeopathy should not be used to treat chronic and serious diseases.

Australian government-owned leading medical research body, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), said it arrived at the conclusion after assessing more than 1,800 papers. Out of these, only 225 studies were good enough to be included in NHMRC’s review.

However, no quality study was found, to establish the claim that homeopathy improves the health in the same way other treatments do. Though some of the papers showed that homeopathy was effective, their quality was found to be poor to enable drawing reliable conclusions.

The chief executive officer (CEO) of NHMRC, Warwick Anderson, said “All medical treatments and interventions should be underpinned by reliable evidence. NHMRC’s review shows that there is no good quality evidence to support the claim that homeopathy works better than a placebo.”

“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. People who are considering whether to use homeopathy should first get advice from a registered health practitioner and, in the meanwhile, keep taking any prescribed treatments,” he added. 

Anderson emphasised that health practitioners should offer treatments and therapies based on available evidence. “It is important that the public has access to independent, high quality advice when it comes to making decisions about their healthcare.”


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