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European Coalition on Homeopathic & Anthroposophic Medicinal Products

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Reducing the need for antibiotics – the contribution of complementary and alternative medicine

16 Nov 2018

European Antibiotic Awareness Day on 18 November highlights the priority the EU gives to tackling antimicrobial resistance and over-prescription of antibiotics in primary care.

EUROCAM, the European alliance for complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), has put a spotlight on the role of CAM in reducing this problem, by releasing a number of new materials.

Its new statement, “The role of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in reducing the problem of AMR” calls for the potential of CAM in reducing the problem of antimicrobial resistance to be given serious consideration and for further research to be carried out in this area to determine in which conditions specific CAM modalities are particularly effective. Compared with other avenues, such as the identification and development of new antibiotics, such trials would be relatively easy and inexpensive to carry out. In return for this small investment, the potential rewards could be enormous.

In addition, presentations and reports are now available from the EUROCAM conference on 6 June in Brussels – ‘Reducing the need for antibiotics – the contribution of complementary and alternative medicine.’ These demonstrate that CAM therapies, by their individualised holistic approach and focus on assisting each person’s innate self-healing and health-maintaining capacity, can make a significant contribution to reducing AMR, both in the healthcare sector and in animal husbandry.

Homeopathy and anthroposophic medicine have an important role to play in this area - the use of anthroposophic medicine has been associated with much lower use of  antibiotics  and  antipyretics, quicker  recovery,  fewer  adverse  reactions, and  greater  therapy  satisfaction compared to conventional medicine (Hamre, 2005). Similar results have been seen in homeopathy, with one study, for example, showing lower use of antibiotics and fewer antipyretic/anti-inflammatory drugs for a similar clinical evolution (Haidvogl, M et al. 2007).

EUROCAM has re-launched its website, which now provides information on Complementary and Alternative Medicine modalities, research and latest news.