Homeopathic drugs in the U.S. will have to wear a label noting their claims have not been scientifically proven. Health Canada has indicated it might soon follow suit.
VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – New rules from Health Canada are targeting homeopathy. Homeopathic products can no longer claim to help kids 12 and under without having scientific proof.Michael Kruse is with the group Bad Science Watch. He says there is no evidence that homeopathy works and apparently Health Canada agrees. “They admit that there is no scientific evidence that they are effective and, therefore, we think that it’s appropriate that they prevent homeopathic manufacturers from putting claims of treatment for cough, cold and flu medications.”
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.
Homeopathic “medicines” (as they are registered by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) are consistently shown to work no better than placebo. The placebo effect is powerful — it can reduce pain and improve mental health. It cannot cure cancer. It cannot vaccinate children against preventable and devastating illnesses. The line between homeopathy and other forms of pseudoscience, such as the anti-vaccination campaign, are blurred.
Royal Australian College of GPs also says pharmacists must stop stocking such products because there is no evidence they are effective in any way
We cannot blame the father of homeopathy, Samuel Hahnemann, who developed modern homeopathy in 1796. Molecules, viruses, and vaccines were unknown, and at least the practice of homeopathy did no more harm and created a atmosphere of caring for the sick. However, in today’s world we cannot be so forgiving, and institutions such as the University of Toronto deserve the criticism they receive over their homeophathy research spending that could be put to beneficial use.
“We are curious about why, given the need to investigate natural therapies that may actually have a potential for benefit, and saddled with a scarcity in funding, a Department of Pharmacy is interested in investigating a subject that has been … found wanting both in evidence and plausibility,” reads a letter from over 60 scientist addressed to Heather Boon, dean of the U of T’s Faculty of Pharmacy.
The National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia recently released their results of an investigation into homeopathy and homeopathic claims finding it to be nothing more than junk science and medical quackery. They warn the public:
“Homeopathy should not be used to treat health conditions that are chronic, serious, or could become serious. People who choose homeopathy may put their health at risk if they reject or delay treatments for which there is good evidence for safety and effectiveness.”