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European Coalition on Homeopathic & Anthroposophic Medicinal Products

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Clinical data and research

Clinical data

Homeopathy and anthroposophic medicine and their related products have an important contribution to make to major EU health challenges. Research in these fields confirms significant added values to society. These include:

These medicines also have a role to play in fields of critical relevance to EU health policy, such as antimicrobial resistance, polypharmacy, chronic diseases and healthy ageing.

Homeopathy

To date, 1218 clinical trials of homeopathy have been published in the research literature. Of these, 371 are randomized placebo-controlled trials (RCTs).  A sub-group analysis of the RCTs published up to the end of 2014 found 189 peer-reviewed papers with usable data, 104 of which were placebo-controlled. When looking at the results of these studies, 41% reported positive findings, 5% were negative and 54% were non-conclusive.

When compared to conventional medicine the percentages of positive, negative and inconclusive findings per treatment are remarkably similar.

In addition, there have been seven peer-reviewed systematic review papers published on homeopathy as a whole including all conditions: five have been broadly positive,[1] one tentatively positive and one negative.

Most importantly, a recent high quality, scientifically robust systematic review of individualised homeopathic treatment – i.e. usual care as practised by homeopathic practitioners – shows that homeopathy is 1.5- to 2-times more likely to have a beneficial effect than placebo.

There is also an emerging evidence base indicating that homeopathy may be effective for specific medical conditions. For example, high quality studies have shown homeopathy to perform better than placebo for conditions such as seasonal allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, childhood diarrhoea, vertigo and depression.

Anthroposophic medicine

The most recent comprehensive systematic review of clinical studies of anthroposophic medicine treatment included a total of 256 studies. The authors concluded that anthroposophic medicine therapy for a broad spectrum of disorders showed predominantly good results with few side effects, a high measure of client satisfaction and a favourable cost-effectiveness profile, compared to conventional treatment.

Basic research

The use of potentised remedies in homeopathy and anthroposophic medicine is often viewed with scepticism. This is due in part to the pharmaceutical procedures applied in the production of remedies. One such pharmaceutical procedure is potentisation, which involves iterative dilution and intense mixing processes, partially leading to extremely high dilution factors of the potentised substance.

A number of research initiatives seek to explain these phenomena.


[1] Kleijnen et al., BMJ, 1991, 302:960; Linde et al., Lancet, 1997, 350:834; Linde et al., J.Clin.Epidemiol., 1999, 52:631; Cucherat et al., Eur.J.Clin.Pharmacol., 2000, 56:27; Mathie et al., Sys.Reviews, 2014, 3:142


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Last updated on 22 May 2019