MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

homeopathy

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It was, of course, widely reported that the tennis star Djokovic refuses to get vaccinated against COVID.

Why does he insist on such a daft move?

Does he fear side effects?

No, he believes in so-called alternative medicine (SCAM)

But maybe there is another, more profane reason.

NoVax Djokovic is the main shareholder of a start-up company called ‘QuantBioRes‘. It was founded only in 2020 and aims to find cures and treatments against bacterial resistance and retroviruses, in particular Covid-19. The start-up is investigating methods of “deactivation” of Sars-CoV-2. In essence, ‘QuantBioRes’ is trying to invent a quantum-bollocks-dased SCAM that would be marketable as a replacement for the current COVID vaccines. The no vax positions of the tennis star might therefore not just be due to his love of SCAM but also to financial reasons.

It emerged that Djokovic owns an 80% stake in ‘QuantBioRes’. “At QuantBioRes, we work in utilizing unique and novel ‘Resonant Recognition Model'”. It is based on the weird notion that “certain periodicities/frequencies within the distribution of energies of free electrons along the protein are critical for protein biological function and interaction with protein receptors and other targets,” the QuantBioRes website states.

According to the Guardian, the company will “soon start testing different treatment approaches”. Prof Peter Collignon, an infectious diseases physician and antimicrobial resistance expert, said the QuantBioRes website used “fancy terms” without providing any evidence of success of the methods it promoted. “They’ve given nothing in the way of data,” he said. “People are looking out for new molecules all the time, but the website describes a way of finding a new molecule without providing any evidence of success.”

The Guardian speculates that the treatment would be akin to homeopathy but the chief executive of QuantBioRes, Ivan Loncarevic, stated: “What we do has absolutely nothing to do with homeopathy. The theory behind homeopathy is that you can transfer information from a chemical to another substance, such as water. What we do is to develop peptides with specific functionality. This is pure, classical science. Of course we are not putting our data on our website for every idiot to look at. We will soon publish an article in a scientific journal that will collect all our clinical testing.” When asked when the article will be published, Loncarevic said: “With a little luck, in two to three months, after peer review.”

I partly agree with Ivan Loncarevic: the method looks nothing like homeopathy. It seems more akin to the Lakhovski oscillator which we discussed some time ago. Whatever it is, it seems to be based on bizarre quantum bollocks and has as much chance to be an effective cure for anything as I have in winning a grand slam.

Guest post by Richard Rasker

Author’s disclaimer: this article is mostly based on the situation in the US, but also applies to many other countries as well, at least in part. Also, corrections are welcome, as I have not been able to find information on all legal details mentioned here. My apologies in advance for any inaccuracies or untruths. These will be corrected if signalled.

Homeopathy has been around for well over 200 years now. Despite the fact that it has been thoroughly debunked by science as a legitimate form of medicine already as early as 1835 (and many, many times more since then), and is based on principles that fly in the face of basic laws of chemistry, physics, and even logic, it still has quite a lot of practitioners and followers. And despite the fact that there is not a single homeopathic ‘remedy’ with proven efficacy for even one condition, homeopaths keep claiming that it is a very effective form of medicine. In fact, quite a few practitioners even maintain that their treatments are better than regular medical treatments, which are often dismissed as ‘allopathy’, and ‘just suppressing symptoms’, whereas they themselves claim to ‘treat the root cause of diseases’. And yes, this not only sounds arrogant, it is arrogant.

Where does this arrogance come from? How can these people keep on making claims that have been proven false countless times already? And why are they allowed to pretend that they are a kind of doctor, even if many of them have no medical training whatsoever?

It turns out that homeopaths not only think that they are special, but that in many countries, they indeed enjoy quite a few what I would call Peculiar Perks and Privileges:

• Homeopaths are allowed to treat people suffering from medical complaints without having received any medical training whatsoever.

• Homeopaths are exempt from most of the rules that real doctors are subject to. E.g. homeopaths do not have to bother with things like keeping medical records; they are not obliged to register anything about their patients conditions, treatments, or treatment outcomes.

• Homeopaths, unlike real doctors, are not legally obliged to keep up with the current state of medical science – quite the contrary, in fact: homeopaths are allowed to treat patients in ways that fly in the face of modern science, and are instead based on ancient belief in (sympathetic) magic.

• Homeopaths are not accountable to anyone or any organization with regard to their activities and professional conduct. Even when patients in their care suffer harm, they are almost never disciplined. (And real doctors are usually expected to clean up the mess.)

• Homeopaths are allowed to lie about their ‘remedies’, e.g. they can claim that it contains an ‘active ingredient’ that is completely absent.

• Homeopathic preparations can be legally registered, sold and marketed as medicines without any testing of efficacy and safety whatsoever[1].

• European law even goes one step further: member states are required to register homeopathic preparations as medicines without requiring any evidence of therapeutic efficacy. This is bizarre, as the same EU laws demand that real medicines must have proven efficacy before they can be registered. In effect, EU law gives homeopathy the explicit privilege to lie to its customers about the efficacy of their ‘medicines’.

So yes, homeopathy must be Very Special indeed to have all these privileges! And it is therefore quite understandable that many homeopaths think of themselves as healthcare professionals. Yet in spite of this, many homeopaths are not quite satisfied, and crave the ultimate prize: official recognition of homeopathy as a part of real medicine.

I argue that this is an excellent idea, under one condition: if homeopaths want to be regarded as real medical professionals, then they should also be held to the same standards as medical professionals. This means that homeopathic preparations should only be approved as medicines after providing proper scientific evidence of both safety and efficacy. Also, homeopaths should no longer be allowed to treat patients without receiving any medical training. Instead, they should be educated to the same standards as other doctors before being allowed to practice their medicine.

So I really hope that homeopaths get what they want: the same rights and obligations as real doctors. Let’s see how long they last if they actually have to demonstrate the viability and benefits of their diagnoses, remedies and treatments!

But joking apart, at the very least the bizarre privileges for homeopathy should be abandoned, and lawmakers should re-evaluate the rationale (or rather the lack thereof) behind these privileges, which are as archaic and outdated as homeopathy itself.

An important point of action therefore would be to properly educate those lawmakers and legal institutions about the medical and scientific consensus on homeopathy, as these organizations still base a lot of their views and decisions on the long-refuted principles of homeopathy[2]. In doing so, it should be emphasized that not only does modern science not support any of the premises of homeopathy, but that in well over 200 years, homeopathy itself has never come up with even one(!) ‘remedy’ for which there is actual evidence of efficacy in a properly conducted scientific trial.

[1]: In the US, the only requirement for approval of a homeopathic preparation as a medicine is that a group of homeopaths (the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia Convention of the United States(**)) gives a particular preparation their blessing. However, this decision is solely based on a declaration from the manufacturer of the product that a so-called ‘proving’ has taken place, which means that a dozen or so healthy people have taken the product and recorded any unusual ‘symptoms’ they experienced. Homeopaths believe that this preparation can then treat sick people with similar symptoms. This is nothing short of insane, for more than one reason:

• This ‘proving’ proves nothing at all, as it involves no patients and no illness whatsoever. If any pharmaceutical company would test their products in this way, they would be forced to close their business immediately.

• There is not a shred of evidence that what makes healthy people feel ill can cure sick people. Give a healthy person poison, and he will get sick. Give a sick person poison, and he will get even sicker – regardless of the actual symptoms caused by the disease or the poison.

• The whole concept that a homeopathic preparation can cause symptoms in healthy people, yet cure those symptoms in sick people is in fact extremely silly. Just think about it: according to homeopaths, if you give a healthy person Remedy X, they then would get all sorts of symptoms associated with that remedy. But now comes the million-dollar question: how do you cure these people after they developed these symptoms? Well, you give them Remedy X again of course!

**: Recently, the Center for Inquiry has filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information act to obtain access to the so-called Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS). The HPUS is a register listing all homeopathic preparations that have been granted the legal status of medicine, complete with all details about those preparations. However, even though the HPUS is highly important from a legal and medical point of view, it is not publicly accessible, with access costing up to $15,000 per year.

[2]: Many legal organizations still appear to listen primarily to homeopaths rather than to scientists. E.g. in this editorial, the old and long discredited myths about the viability of homeopathy are repeated verbatim:

“By way of background, homeopathy is the practice of treating symptoms with very small doses of substances that have produced similar symptoms in healthy subjects, and it is based on the principle that “like cures like.” In one sense, homeopathic medicine is the grandfather of vaccines and allergy shots, which are based on the same principle. Homeopathy is a system of medicine that has a well-established framework for demonstrating the effectiveness of products; in particular, effectiveness is shown using “provings,” a procedure employed in healthy individuals to determine the dose of a drug sufficient to produce symptoms.”

As long as legal and official organizations ignore science and blindly follow homeopathy’s misleading explanations and information, homeopathy will keep its undeserved privileges (and also note that ‘privilege’ literally means “[its] own law”)

Please take a moment to read this short letter by the ‘LIGA MEDICORUM HOMOEOPATHICA INTERNATIONALIS’:

As you know, the World Health Organization (WHO) is predicting that civilization faces a crisis of antibiotic-resistant diseases that may soon result in as many as 10 million deaths per year while pushing as many as 24 million people into extreme poverty.

We, the undersigned, are duly licensed healthcare professionals practicing homeopathy, with the authority to diagnose and treat disease, who have reviewed the extensive research literature demonstrating the clear therapeutic value of homeopathy.  Each of us has had extensive clinical experience successfully treating hundreds of thousands of patients suffering from infectious diseases worldwide.

Homeopathy works, does not cause further antibiotic resistance, is generally devoid of side effects, is inexpensive, and is good for health of the planet.

We are calling upon the WHO to encourage the international medical community to immediately begin training in homeopathy as an adjunctive therapeutic measure to avoid this catastrophic loss of life and would like a meeting with you or your representative to discuss the grave challenge of antibiotic resistance at your earliest convenience.

Thank you for considering this urgent appeal.

________________________

I stated above that this is a letter. In fact, it is more – it is a petition directed to the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, to immediately begin training physicians in homeopathy as an adjunctive therapeutic measure to combat the looming crisis of antibiotic-resistant diseases.

The Liga Medicorum Homoeopathica Internationalis (LMHI) represents homeopathic physicians in more than 70 countries all over the world. The purposes of the association are the development and securing of homeopathy worldwide and the creation of a link among licensed homeopaths with medical diplomas and societies and persons who are interested in homeopathy. The LMHI is exclusively devoted to non-profit activities serving philanthropic benefits.

The LMHI might ring a bell for regular readers of this blog. A few years ago, I reported that its president advocates curing cancers with homeopathy. And in 2014, I reported that a journey to Liberia of leading homeopaths was co-organized by the LMHI; its purpose was to cure Ebola patients of their disease with homeopathy.

I find all of this seriously worrying – not because I fear that the WHO will now start training physicians across the globe in homeopathy. It is worrying, I feel, because it shows how hopelessly deluded homeopaths are. The fact that clinicians so far detached from reality treat ill and vulnerable patients frightens me.

In so-called alternative medicine (SCAM) we have an amazing number of ‘discoveries’ which – IF TRUE – should have changed the world. Here I list of 10 of my favorites:

  1. Diluting and shaking a substance makes it not weaker but stronger.

Homeopaths call this process ‘potentisation’. They use it to produce highly ‘potent’ remedies that contain not a single molecule of the original substance. The assumption is that potentisation transfers energy or information. Therefore, they claim, molecules are no longer required for achieving a clinical effect.

2. A substance that causes a certain symptom in a healthy person can be used to cure that symptom when it occurs in a patient.

The ‘like cures like’ principle of homeopathy is based on the notion that the similimum provokes an artificial disease which in turn defeats the condition the patient is suffering from.

3. Subluxations of the spine are the cause of most diseases that affect us humans.

DD Palmer, the inventor of chiropractic, insisted that almost all diseases are due to subluxations. These misplaced vertebrae, he claimed, are the root cause of any disease by inhibiting the flow of the ‘innate’ which in turn caused ill health.

4. Adjusting such subluxations is the best way to restore health.

Palmer, therefore, was sure that only adjustments of these subluxations were able to restore health. All other medical interventions were useless or even dangerous, in his view. Thus Palmer opposed medicines or vaccinations.

5. An imbalance of two life forces is the cause of all illnesses.

Practitioners of TCM believe that all illnesses originate from an energetic imbalance. Harmony between the two life forces ‘yin and yang’ means health.

6. Balance can be restored by puncturing the skin at specific points.

Acupuncturists are convinced that their needling is nothing less than attacking the root cause of his or her problem. Therefore, they are convinced that acupuncture is a cure-all.

7. Our organs are represented in specific areas on the sole of our feet.

Reflexologists have maps of the sole of a foot where specific organs of the body are located. They palpate the foot and when they feel a gritty area, they conclude that the corresponding organ is in trouble.

8. Massaging these areas will positively influence the function of specific organs.

Once the diseased or endangered organ is identified, the area in question needs to be massaged until the grittiness disappears. This intervention, in turn, will have a positive influence on the organ in question.

9. Healing energy can be sent into our body where it stimulates the self-healing process and restores health.

Various types of energy healers are convinced that they can transmit energy that comes from a divine or other source into a patient’s body. The energy enables the body to heal itself. Thus, energy healing is a panacea and does not even require a proper diagnosis to be effective.

10. Toxins accumulate in our bodies and must be eliminated through a wide range of SCAMs.

The toxins in question can originate from within the body and/or from the outside. They accumulate and make us sick. Therefore, we need to eliminate them, and the best way to achieve this is to use this or that SCAM

 

I could, of course, list many more such ‘discoveries’ – SCAM is full of them. They are all quite diverse but have one important thing in common: they are false (i.e. there is no good evidence for them and they fly in the face of science).

If they were true, they would have changed the world by revolutionizing science, physics, physiology, anatomy, pathology, therapeutics, etc.

ALL THESE UGLY FACTS DESTROYING SUCH BEAUTIFUL THEORIES!

WHAT A SHAME!!!

In Germany, the anti-vax movement is frighteningly strong and it constitutes one of the main reasons for the relatively immunization rate. In no small part, this is due to the many anti-vax Heilpraktiker who practice in Germany. In an attempt to put the record straight, the ‘Verband Klassischer Homöopathen Deutschlands’ (VKHD, Association of Classical Homeopaths of Germany) recently published an article entitled ‘Heilpraktiker – Homeopathy – Vaccination’ (Heilpraktiker – Homöopathie – Impfen). Here is a short excerpt (my translation):

… There is a clear conceptual similarity between homeopathy and vaccination [1]. From a historical point of view, this was already reflected in the early days of homeopathy, when its discoverer, Samuel Hahnemann, expressed himself very positively with regard to the smallpox vaccination newly introduced at that time [2]. Thus, it is historically wrong to insinuate that users of homeopathy have a fundamentally negative attitude towards vaccinations [3]. In this context, terms such as “vaccination opponents” or “vaccination refusers” are misleading and defamatory [4].

A critical (not skeptical) approach to the topic of vaccinations is basically a characteristic of people with medical expertise. Such an attitude corresponds to the critical consideration necessary in daily practice and in each individual case to advise on suitable therapy options [5]. Properly working alternative practitioners give differentiated advice accordingly [6]. A fundamentally vaccine-rejecting attitude is precisely not a characteristic of a critical assessment that has taken place. The same applies to an unreflective recommendation of vaccinations or therapy methods, without taking into account individual factors as well as scientific and social backgrounds [7].

For the VKHD, we cannot give exact figures on recovered, vaccinated, or unvaccinated members. It is not the responsibility of a professional association to demand such information from its members [8]. We assume that alternative practitioners who provide information on vaccinations do so in accordance with a responsible ethical attitude, regardless of their own vaccination status [9] …

I have taken the liberty of inserting some references into this text. They relate to my comments, which are as follows:

  1.  A conceptual similarity between vaccination and homeopathy exists only in the minds of homeopaths. They often claim that both use highly diluted remedies. This is wrong because homeopathic remedies do not usually contain active ingredients, whereas vaccines do. This fact also explains why homeopathics do not produce immune reactions, whereas vaccines do.
  2.  Correct! Hahnemann was in favor of vaccination. That is why he would be ashamed today if he knew how many homeopaths oppose vaccination.
  3. What has this got to do with ‘historical’? I assume that the ‘insinuations’ refer to the situation today. Further, I don’t think anyone is suggesting that all homeopaths are ‘fundamentally’ opposed to vaccination. However, that many of them are anti-vaxers is an indisputable fact.
  4. I would rather think they are accurate.
  5. Correct.
  6. How can they without any medical background?
  7. Is it to be implied here that real medical people do?
  8. Maybe not ‘demand’, but inquire or request would be possible and desirable, wouldn’t it?
  9. It is nice that you believe this. But belief is not evidence.

 

This study assessed the effectiveness of Oscillococcinum in the protection from upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) in patients with COPD who had been vaccinated against influenza infection over the 2018-2019 winter season.

A total of 106 patients were randomized into two groups:

  • group V received influenza vaccination only
  • group OV received influenza vaccination plus Oscillococcinum® (one oral dose per week from inclusion in the study until the end of follow-up, with a maximum of 6 months follow-up over the winter season).

The primary endpoint was the incidence rate of URTIs (number of URTIs/1000 patient-treatment exposure days) during follow-up compared between the two groups.

There was no significant difference in any of the demographic characteristics, baseline COPD, or clinical data between the two treatment groups (OV and V). The URTI incidence rate was significantly higher in group V than in group OV (2.9 versus 1.2 episodes/1000 treatment days, difference OV-V = -1.7; p=0.0312). There was a significant delay in occurrence of an URTI episode in the OV group versus the V group (mean ± standard error: 48.7 ± 3.0 versus 67.0 ± 2.8 days, respectively; p=0.0158). Limitations to this study include its small population size and the self-recording by patients of the number and duration of URTIs and exacerbations.

The authors concluded that the use of Oscillococcinum in patients with COPD led to a significant decrease in incidence and a delay in the appearance of URTI symptoms during the influenza-exposure period. The results of this study confirm the impact of this homeopathic medication on URTIs in patients with COPD.

Primary endpoint, comparison of the number of upper respiratory tract infections in the two treatment groups during follow-up

This prospective, randomized, single-center study was funded by Laboratoires Boiron, was conducted in the Pneumology Department of Charles Nicolle Hospital, Tunis, and was written up by a commercial firm specializing in writing for the pharmaceutical industry. The latter point may explain why it reads well and elegantly glosses over the many flaws of the trial.

If I did not know better, I might suspect that the study was designed to deceive us (Boiron would, of course, never do this!): The primary endpoint was the incidence rate of URTIs (number of URTIs/1000 patient-treatment exposure days) in the two groups during the follow-up period. This rate is calculated as the number of episodes of URTIs per 1000 days of follow-up/treatment exposure. The rates were then compared between the OV and V groups. The following symptoms were considered indicative of an URTI: fever, shivering, runny or blocked nose, sneezing, muscular aches/pain, sore throat, watery eyes, headaches, nausea/vomiting, diarrhoea, fatigue and loss of appetite.

This means that there was no verification whatsoever of the primary endpoint. In itself, this flaw would perhaps not be so bad. But put it together with the fact that patients were not blinded (there were no placebos!), it certainly is fatal.

In essence, the study shows that patients who perceive to receive treatment will also perceive to have fewer URTIs.

SURPRISE, SURPRISE! 

A remarkable case of a German doctor homeopath from the Lake Constance district in Germany has been reported. The public prosecutor’s office in Constance is currently investigating the physician on suspicion of causing bodily harm.

Several hundred people seem to have received an ineffective Corona vaccination from her. According to a spokesperson from the office of the Lake Constance district, 430 people who had been vaccinated against the Coronavirus in the doctor’s practice in Markdorf have now received mail from the public health department.

The recipients of the letter were instructed to take an antibody test to clarify their vaccination status. The officials are also interested in their testimonies on the circumstances of the vaccination. It is suspected that the doctor added “something homeopathic” to the injections which presumably were saline solutions.

One of the victims has now filed an official complaint. At the request of the Constance public prosecutor’s office, a judge of the district court issued a search warrant for the medical practice concerned, whereupon officers of the Ravensburg police headquarters seized evidence.

The case had come to the attention of the authorities after no antibodies against the coronavirus could be detected initially in three patients despite them having received first and second vaccinations and no plausible medical reasons for this lack of response could be found.

__________________

It is true that some homeopaths reject vaccinations and believe that homeopathic vaccinations are an effective alternative. It is also clear to anyone who has followed the discussions on this blog that some homeopaths are severely deluded and might therefore try this method on patients, even though there is not a jot of evidence that it works. The fact that this is done dishonestly and without the informed consent of the patient is nevertheless astonishing. Even more surprising, I find, is the notion that such a crime should be committed by a doctor who must know better.

 

Conversion therapy has been banned last week in Canada. These therapies – also known as sexual orientation change effort (SOCE), reparative therapy, reintegrative therapy, reorientation therapy, ex-gay therapy, and gay cure – rely on the assumption that sexual orientation can be changed, an idea long discredited by major medical associations in the US, the UK, France, and elsewhere. The new law makes “providing, promoting, or advertising conversion therapy” a criminal offense. It will also be an offense to profit from the provision of conversion therapy. In addition, the bill states a person cannot remove a “child from Canada with the intention that the child undergo conversion therapy outside Canada.” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hailed the law’s Royal Assent: “It’s official: Our government’s legislation banning the despicable and degrading practice of conversion therapy has received Royal Assent — meaning it is now law.”

Conversion therapy is the attempt to change an individual’s sexual or gender identity by psychological, medical, or surgical interventions. Often, informed consent is insufficient or lacking. In conventional medicine, numerous treatments have been tried for this purpose, some of them dangerous and all of them ineffective. In alternative medicine, approaches that have been advocated include:

  • Homeopathy (see below),
  • Hypnotherapy,
  • Spiritual healing,
  • Prayer,
  • Eye Movement Desensitization,
  • Rebirthing,
  • and others.
Survey data imply that conversion therapy is still disturbingly popular, often leads to undesirable outcomes, and is most frequently practiced by:
  • Faith-based organizations or leaders
  • Licensed healthcare professionals
  • Unlicensed healthcare professionals

As previously reported, the German ‘Association of Catholic Doctors’ claimed that homeopathic remedies can cure homosexuality. Specifically, they advised that ‘…the working group ‘HOMEOPATHY’ of the Association notes homeopathic therapy options for homosexual tendencies…repertories contain special rubrics pointing to characteristic signs of homosexual behavior, including sexual peculiarities such as anal intercourse. And a homeopathic remedy called ‘Dr. Reckeweg R20 Glandular Drops for Women’ was claimed to treat “lesbian tendencies.” The product is “derived and potentised from fetal tissues.”

Several countries are now in the process of banning conversion therapy. France has already banned it and so has Germany. The UK government intends to introduce a legislative ban on the practice of conversion therapy. The consultation on how to best do this is open until 4 February 2022.

Yesterday, it was announced that the new German health secretary will be Dr. Karl Lauterbach. This seems a most reasonable choice (when did the UK last have a physician in that post?), and I certainly wish him the best of luck in his new position.

Lauterbach studied medicine at the RWTH Aachen University, University of Texas at San Antonio and University of Düsseldorf, where he graduated. From 1989 to 1992, he studied health policy and management as well as epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, graduating with a Doctor of Science in 1992. From 1992 to 1993, he held a fellowship at the Harvard Medical School.

From 1998 until 2005, Lauterbach served as the director of the Institute of Health Economics and Clinical Epidemiology (IGKE) at the University of Cologne. He was appointed adjunct professor at the Harvard School of Public Health in 2008. He was a member of the Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der Entwicklung im Gesundheitswesen (the council of experts advising the federal government on developments in the German healthcare system) from 1999 until he was elected to the Bundestag in September 2005.

But why does his appointment put the German defenders of homeopathy in a panic? The reason is simple: Lauterbach has in the past repeatedly argued against the reimbursement of homeopathy in Germany. This is, for instance, what DER SPIEGEL wrote in 2019 (my translation):

SPD parliamentary group vice-chairman Karl Lauterbach wants to prohibit public health insurance companies from reimbursing the costs of homeopathy. “We have to talk about this in the coalition,” he told the “Tagesspiegel”. Health insurance companies in Germany are not obliged to cover the costs of homeopathic treatments. However, they can pay for it voluntarily.

Voluntary benefits by health insurers must also be economically and medically reasonable, Lauterbach argues, referring to a similar push in France. According to the French Supreme Health Authority (HAS), the funds do not have sufficient scientific effect. The Ministry of Health had previously commissioned the HAS with the examination. It is considered likely that the French government will soon abolish the coverage of costs.

“In the spirit of reason and education as well as patient protection, it is also wrong in Germany for insurance companies to pay for homeopathy for marketing reasons,” Lauterbach wrote on Twitter in reaction to the decision in France. His demand is not new. Lauterbach had already spoken out in 2010 for a ban on the assumption of costs.

Many observers expect that Lauterbach – after getting the pandemic under control (not an easy task by any measure) – will indeed stop the reimbursement of homeopathy. Germany’s largest homeopathy producer reacted swiftly and is currently running an expensive campaign with full-page advertisements in German newspapers trying to improve the much-damaged public image of homeopathy:

In the advertisement above, for instance, it is implied that homeopaths are all in favor of vaccination. Regular readers of my blog will know that this is not true…

… and so does Dr. Lauterbach!

Ovariohysterectomy (OH) is one of the most frequent elective surgical procedures in routine veterinary practice. The aim of this study was to evaluate analgesia with Arnica montana 30cH during the postoperative period after elective OH.

Thirty healthy female dogs, aged 1 to 3 years, weighing 7 to 14 kg, were selected at the Veterinary Hospital in Campo Mourão, Paraná, Brazil. The dogs underwent the surgical procedure with an anaesthetic protocol and analgesia that had the aim of maintaining the patient’s wellbeing. After the procedure, they were randomly divided into three groups of 10. One group received Arnica montana 30cH; another received 5% hydroalcoholic solution; and the third group, 0.9% NaCl saline solution. All animals received four drops of the respective solution sublingually and under blinded conditions, every 10 minutes for 1 hour, after the inhalational anaesthetic had been withdrawn. The Glasgow Composite Measure Pain Scale was used to analyse the effect of therapy. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) followed by the Tukey test was used to evaluate the test data. Statistical differences were deemed significant when p ≤0.05.

The results show that the Arnica montana 30cH group maintained analgesia on average for 17.8 ± 3.6 hours, whilst the hydroalcoholic solution group did so for 5.1 ± 1.2 hours and the saline solution group for 4.1 ± 0.9 hours (p ≤0.05).

The authors concluded that these data demonstrate that Arnica montana 30cH presented a more significant analgesic effect than the control groups, thus indicating its potential for postoperative analgesia in dogs undergoing OH.

I do not have access to the full article (I was fired by the late Peter Fisher from the editorial board of the journal ‘HOMEOPATHY’) which puts me in a somewhat difficult position:

  • not reporting this study could be construed as an anti-homeopathy bias,
  • and reporting it handicaps me as I cannot assess essential details.

So, if anyone has access, please send the full paper to me and I will then study it and revise this post accordingly.

Judging from the abstract, I have to say that the results seem far too good to be true. I doubt that any oral remedy can have the effect that is being described here – let alone one that has been diluted (sorry, potentised) at a rate of 1: 1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000. That fact alone reduces the plausibility of the finding to zero.

At this stage, I do wonder who peer-reviewed the study and ask myself whether the rough data have been checked for reliability.

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