*To find out more about my international homeopathic medicine practice or my local Palm Beach Gardens practice, head over to StephanieNewtonHomeopathy.com!
Hi folks! Well, homeopathic medicine has been hitting the press quite a bit lately. I’m here to weigh in on the media coverage, as a pharmaceutical sales representative – turned – homeopath (yes you read that right! long story… ), with my thoughts, opinions, and knowledge about the homeopathic medicine industry.
The industry, quite frankly, has been berated by some news sources in their reports about the recent FDA (Food and Drug Administration) warnings and FTC (Federal Trade Commission) rulings about homeopathic remedies. The authors are claiming “lack of efficacy” and “safety concerns” regarding homeopathic medicine.
The FTC is calling for evidence-based medicine within the homeopathic medicine industry, or proof behind their labeling. To that I have three things to say.
1. Is Conventional, Western Medicine Really Practicing Evidence-Based Medicine?
As a homeopath, myself, and a former employee of Bristol-Myers Squibb pharmaceutical company, I know first-hand that “evidence-based results” are sometimes bought and paid for with pharma dollars. The researchers on the front lines want to keep their jobs so they oftentimes produce “likable” results. Not real results.
Easy enough to do.
“Minimize” side effects…”maximize” efficacy…and they get a pat on the back by their employers. And a raise. And another trial to participate in. You see, producing “likable” results, as opposed to “real” results, keeps the pipeline full for researchers, pharm companies and investors alike.
2. You Can’t Patent “Nature”
Secondly, homeopathic remedies cannot be patented. They are not “created” in a lab. They are fully derived from substances in nature.
You can’t patent nature.
And without patents you can’t spend the big bucks required to fuel the level of research that compares to pharma research (on their own medicines, by the way).
3. Homeopathic Research is Widely Available
Third, there IS research available proving that homeopathic remedies far exceed the efficacy found with conventional meds. Here is a paper found on pubmed describing homeopathy and it’s efficacy as “nanoparticle medicine“.
Homeopathy has a very long track record of being highly effective in incidents of epidemics, such as cholera or the flu, where control and treatment groups were compared. There are also studies done which compare patients who are being treated with “constitutional remedies” and patients who are not. But this research may not satisfy folks at the FTC because when a group of people are prescribed constitutional remedies, they are all given a different remedy based on a detailed analysis of their own presentation of an illness, including the unique fears and stresses one experiences which allowed them to become susceptible to the disease to begin with. 100 different constitutional remedies (or more) could apply to one chronic illness. This is the basis of individual remedy prescribing based on the “wholistic” view of the body.
And lastly, much of the efficacy data has been collected over time from the front lines: the detailed notes of homeopathic prescribers who have witnessed certain remedies alleviating certain chronic illnesses.
Something else to note regarding “efficacy”…some practitioners prescribe homeopathic medicine much more conservatively than others. A more progressive approach, such as the approach I take with my own patients, tends to produce more pronounced improvements more quickly. I often have patients coming back for their follow-up appointments with a list of symptoms which have magically disappeared within a 2-month time-frame. This is due to weekly dosage adjustments, moving up in potency as quickly as possible, while producing a minimal amount of “aggravation” of symptoms as possible. With this said, I do practice a more conservative, classical approach with some of my patients when called for, but for more complex cases (which i specialize in) a more progressive approach is necessary.
Will the FTC “Allow” True Homeopathic Research to Satisfy the New Requirements?
Am I against doing research to back up claims? Absolutely not! This is already being done. Do I think the FTC will “allow” the current research being done with homeopathic medicines to satisfy their new requirements?
Well that remains to be seen.
When you’ve got an entire population of people waking up to the harmful effects of over-prescribed conventional medicine, and it’s your job to preserve this system of medicine, you may make things difficult for the increasingly “popular” kid on the block.
*To find out more about my international homeopathic medicine practice or my local Palm Beach Gardens practice, head on over to my practice website, StephanieNewtonHomeopathy.com. Namaste 🙂