Hahnemann spent his last years in Paris where he and his young French wife became what we today might call fashionable gurus. Ever since, homeopathy has been almost as popular in France as it is in Germany. The world’s largest producer of homeopathic products, Boiron, is based in France, and about 10% of the French population, particularly young children and women, receive at least one homeopathic preparation per year.
For a long time, homeopathy existed almost entirely unchallenged in France. This odd ‘status quo’ has changed only in recent months. But now even the French Academies of Medicine and Pharmacy have published a short document entitled L’homéopathie en France : position de l’Académie nationale de médecine et de l’Académie nationale de pharmacie. It stated this:
L’homéopathie a été introduite à la fin du XVIIIe siècle, par Samuel Hahnemann, postulant deux hypothèses : celle des similitudes (soigner le mal par le mal) et celle des hautes dilutions. L’état des données scientifiques ne permet de vérifier à ce jour aucune de ces hypothèses. Les méta-analyses rigoureuses n’ont pas permis de démontrer une efficacité des préparations homéopathiques.[My translation: Homeopathy was introduced by Samuel Hahnemann at the end of the 18th century; he postulated two hypotheses: like cures like and high dilution. The scientific evidence does not confirm either of them. Rigorous meta-analyses fail to show the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies.]
The academies concluded that no French university should offer degrees in homeopathy, and that homeopathy should no longer be funded by the public purse: “no homeopathic preparation should be reimbursed by Assurance Maladie [France’s health insurance] until the demonstration of sufficient medical benefit has been provided. No university degree in homeopathy should be issued by medical or pharmaceutical faculties ... The reimbursing of these products by the social security seems aberrant at a time when, for economic reasons, we are not reimbursing many classic medicines because they are more or less considered to not work well enough …
Already last year, the Collège National des Généralistes Engseignants, the national association for teaching doctors, had pointed out that there was no rational justification for the reimbursement of homeopathics nor for the teaching of homeopathy in medical schools: It is necessary to abandon these esoteric methods, which belong in the history books. Simultaneously, 124 doctors published an open letter criticising SCAM (including homeopathy) as dangerous and fantasist … practised by charlatans of all kinds.
Also in 2018, the University of Lille announced its decision to stop its course on homeopathy. The faculty of medicine’s dean, Didier Gosset, stated: It has to be said that we teach medicine based on proof – we insist on absolute scientific rigour – and it has to be said that homeopathy has not evolved in the same direction, that it is a doctrine that has remained on the margins of the scientific movement, that studies on homeopathy are rare, that they are not very substantial. Continuing to teach it would be to endorse it.
Agnès Buzyn, the health minister, said in April 2018: there is a continuous evaluation of the medicines we call complementary. A working group at the head office of my department checks that all these practices are not dangerous. If a therapy continues to be beneficial without being harmful, it continues to be reimbursed… The French are very attached [to homeopathy]; it’s probably a placebo effect. If it can prevent the use of toxic medicine, I think that we all win. I does not hurt. Shortly after, she asked France’s medical council, the Haute Autorité de Santé (HAS), to evaluate the efficacy of homeopathy and the basis for it being reimbursed. The HAS will publish its findings in June.
It seems that we will soon know whether the minister, the officials of HAS and the Academies, as well as a growing group of French sceptics have all joined the infamous KKK – in an interview, Christian Boiron pointed out not long ago that “Il y a un Ku Klux Klan contre l’homéopathie” THERE IS A KU KLUX KLAN AGAINST HOMEOPATHY.
It looks like the time is arriving for you to hang up your gloves?
All TRUE homeopaths appreciate the work that you have done to weed out nonsense although some would not approve of your manners in the course doing this noble work.
would it be bad manners, if I told you that this is a stupid comment indeed?
The fact that you ask the question: ‘would it be bad manners, if I told you that this is a stupid comment indeed?’ answers it!
Happy April fools.
Of course you won’t hang up your gloves! Even if Homeo-Unicorn is six foot under.
On a true note, sincerely: thank you for weeding out the nonsense, it has saved many people a lot of hard work and enabled them to get on with the job knowing that you are doing the gardening.
All true Scotsmen?
Greg, your comment is ludicrous.
Skeptics, including Edzard, all work to, as you say, “weed out the nonsense.” There is nothing BUT nonsense in homeopathy so your comments are, at the very best, a poorly veiled backhanded compliment. At worst, they are delusional.
I don’t even know where to begin with this.
Over here, we have the KKK. They are costumed (to hide their identities) white supremacist paranoids who burned crosses in people’s yards and left African Americans swinging by their necks from trees. They pillaged, raped and murdered. In 1870, an American federal grand jury labelled the KKK a terrorist organization.
And over here we have scientists and real doctors criticising fake medicine.
I’m sorry, Mr. Boiron, but I fear you are overreaching.
If you chose to criticize flying carpets or the ability to straighten teeth with duct tape I’m sure a legion of twits would come out of the woodwork with a bevy of testimonials and well heeled dogmatic defenses.
It of course isn’t homeopathetic or chiroquackery or acupuncturit or any of the 100+ equally inane and arcane flights-of-human uncritical-fancy listed here on this blog…it’s the simple, arrogant, sententious, self-righteousness that IS “belief”. “I know things which YOU can’t…I have insights YOU don’t….because “I” am simply better than you due to my keen ability to see things which aren’t there, and believe things without proof”. “Pardon my humility, but I’m on a mission for God…or LRH, or Hahnamann or Palmer…”
The “Greg’s” of the world set up untenable defenses of their preferred lunacy…but asked a 100 times over to describe “other” sCAMs THEY think might constitute “fraud or malarkey” or invidious human endeavors….they remain silent, or just double-down against chemistry, pharmaceuticals and rational skeptics. I suppose even idiots understand dominos.
I like the new red banner at the top that says:
Please remember: if you make a claim in a comment, support it with evidence.
it was Alan’s bright idea
Glad someone noticed!
I was going to post that Edzard is a research genius. However, I cannot support this comment with any evidence only with my opinion. What do I do?
there you have it!
you should not claim nonsense!!!
Of course you do not know what to do Dendra, you seem to know nothing about health care or scientific methodology. So let me help you.
To see if someone is a bona fide researcher, you may conveniently start by looking him or her up in databases where scientific publications are recorded. One of the more important ones is called PubMed. You can enter a simple search term to find the professors published works: “Ernst E [Author]” into the search field at the top here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed
The result I got was 1761 hits. That is not impressive, that is mega-impressive.
Professor Ernst can tell you how many of those are peer reviewed research papers. I recall having heard the figure 1200 somewhere? The rest is not negligible material either,
To produce that amount of scientific material you need to be a good, hard-working researcher. “Genious” is a rather obsequious term but you would not be altogether wrong if you use it and as I have demonstrated, such a claim can be supported with evidence.
I would though like to point out to Björn Geir that there appear to be several authors called E Ernst including of course Edzard. (Cue Trumpets blaring).
You may find that the number of hits accredited to Edzard is 437 and not 1761.
If I were to claim that Björn Geir was not a great researcher then this would now be supported with some evidence.
MEDLINE usually does not use 1st names; so you have to take my word for it [or check the author’s address of the ~1700 papers]: about 1500 of the ‘ernst e’ papers are mine. that does not make me a genius but suggests that I have done a fair bit of research.
Brilliant. Now we can simply refer to the red banner 😉
Is there any evidence that Bjorn is a doctor (surgeon)?
is there any evidence that you are not a moron?
You might need another red banner.
Good old Greg. I hope he sleeps at night despite his long standing worries regarding my credentials.
It is quite a few less than 1500 Edzard. Take a look. Still a lot of papers but a lot less than the inaccurate figure quoted by Björn.
I fear you’ve just lost half your audience, Edzard!
Was very encouraged until I read this: “If a therapy continues to be beneficial without being harmful, it continues to be reimbursed… The French are very attached [to homeopathy]; it’s probably a placebo effect. If it can prevent the use of toxic medicine, I think that we all win. I does not hurt.”
Yes it does hurt because supporting homeopathy in any way validates magical thinking and erodes trust in scientific methods. Surprising to me that an important health professional would support the widespread clinical use of placebo.
Also, if they are depending on woo for help, they are not getting the real help they need. So yes, it can be very harmful.