Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Broken record: Homeopathy no better than placebo

Time and time again science has shown homeopathy is no better than a placebo. An observation I have documented before. Needless to say I was shocked, shocked I tell you, when The Independent reported that:
Campaigners have welcomed the latest study to show that homeopathy "treatments" are no more effective than a placebo, and called for the technique to be cut from the NHS.
It noted:
The Good Thinking Society, which campaigns against homeopathy, said the latest study bolstered scientific consensus that the “treatments” do not work. 
Popular Science has seen the study too:
Homeopathy, the form of alternative medicine in which proponents claim that small doses of natural substances can cure patient’s ailments, has come under fire recently—Australia deemed the practice “useless” in 2014, and last year the FDA considered cracking down on unregulated treatments sold over the counter. Now homeopathy has received another blow: Paul Glasziou, a professor of evidence-based medicine at Bond University in the United Kingdom, called homeopathy a “therapeutic dead-end," according to a blog post published on the website of the British Medical Journal last week and covered by The Independent.
Of course, last year Australia came to the same conclusion:
The draft paper by Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) assessed research into the effectiveness of the alternative medicine on 68 health conditions and concluded “there is no reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective”.
For those new to the world of quackery homeopathy Orac has a  great summary of what it entails, the scientific and legal challenges: 
the developments in homeopathy last year, which have now been recapped in an article in the New England Journal of Medicine. Actually, the developments weren’t so much in homeopathy, which basically never changes, other than sometimes in the extravagant imagination of homeopaths trying to justify their quackery with everything from quantum mechanics to “nanoparticles.” Rather, the developments concerned the regulation of homeopathy in the US.
In light of this latest study, let me leave you with a comment by Emeritus Professor of Complementary Medicine at the Peninsula School of Medicine, University of Exeter, Edzard Ernst:
The National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia recently published what might be the most thorough evaluation of homeopathy ever since it began 200 years ago.
warned against homeopathy in 2002, and a range medical experts have been vocal about the dangers of homeopathy for many years now. Yet homeopaths around the world seemed shocked by the news of this study, and are now on the warpath to suppress it.
Despite the numerous intricate explanations homeopaths have imagined the underlying placebo-effect remains the same: plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

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