Clinical data and research
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:
- Comparative effectiveness
- Few side effects
- Sustainable health and satisfied patients.
These medicines also have a role to play in fields of critical relevance to EU health policy, such as chronic disease, healthy ageing and antimicrobial resistance.
As at May 2015, there were 1117 clinical trials of homeopathy, 298 of which were randomized controlled trials. Up to the end of 2014, there were 189 peer-reviewed papers, with useable data, that reported randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in homeopathy. Of these, 104 papers were placebo-controlled - 41% reported positive findings, 5% were negative and 54% were non-conclusive. The percentages of positive, negative and inconclusive findings are similar in conventional medicine.
In addition, there have been five systematic reivews on homeopathy as a whole (including all conditions), four of which have been positive and one negative. Research demonstrates positive results for a number of specific conditions: allergies and upper respiratory tract infections, seasonal allergic rhinitis, childhood diarrhea, post-operative ileus, rheumatic diseases and vertigo. Most recently, a new, high quality, scientifically robust systematic review on homeopathy shows that individualised homeopathic treatment is 1.5 to two times more likely to have a beneficial effect than placebo.
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.
The use of potentised remedies in homeopathy and anthroposophic medicine is often viewed with scepticism. This is due in part to the pharmaceutical proceduresapplied 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.
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