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

Well, they did not directly admit that homeopathic remedies have no effects, of course. But, on 5/6/2020, they tweeted this :

DHU Arzneimittel
@dhu_de Jun 5
#Homöopathie Wissen
‘Pille’ und #Globuli – geht das? Ja, das geht, #Schwangerschaftsverhütung mit der #Pille und homöopathische Arzneimittel beeinflussen sich nicht gegenseitig.

Let me translate the text of this tweet for you:

The pill and homeopathy – is that ok? Yes, it is. Contraceptives and homeopathic medicines do not interact.

Let me translate the text of this tweet for you:

The pill and homeopathy – is that ok? Yes, it is. Contraceptives and homeopathic medicines do not interact.

And in what way is this an admission that homeopathic remedies have no effect?

Let me explain:

To issue such a categorical assurance, any responsible pharmaceutical company must have sound evidence. If not they would be open to expensive legal action, compensation, etc., in case a woman believed them and did get pregnant while taking both the contraceptive pill and a homeopathic remedy. Claiming that no interactions exist without evidence would be unwise, illegal and unethical. That means, there must be a published trial plus several independent replications demonstrating the absence of interactions between the contraceptive pill and homeopathic remedies.

German homeopathic manufacturers are, of course, responsible; I would never dare to doubt it! Ergo, such trials must be available, I thought. Therefore, I quickly conducted a few literature searches in an attempt to locate them.

Here are my findings:

No study on interactions of homeopathics with contraceptives.

No study on interactions of homeopathics with any drug.

(Should anyone have different information, please contact me without delay)

As I said, I do not doubt for a second that the largest German manufacturer, the ‘Deutsche Homöopathische Union’ (DHU), is a highly responsible company. So, how can they responsibly assure the public that there are no contraceptive/homeopathy interactions? How can they be so sure? Why are they not afraid of legal consequences?

There is really only one plausible explanation: they know very well that homeopathic remedies have no actions, and what has no actions cannot possibly cause any interactions!

Am I right, my dear friends at the DHU?

Please do respond if you have a minute!

13 Responses to The largest German homeopathic manufacturer (DHU) just admitted that homeopathic remedies have no effect

  • Boiron USA admits it too, even more strongly!
    “Boiron #homeopathic single medicines do not interact with other medications, herbs or supplements. Packaged in convenient, easy-to-use multi-dose tubes, the quick-dissolving pellets help to relieve a wide variety of acute conditions.”
    https://twitter.com/BoironUSA/status/1269056423746580481

  • This is an interesting line of reasoning. But let’s make it even more interesting by following it through a bit further.

    Suppose that a woman on oral contraception gets inadvertently pregnant within weeks after using DHU’s sugar crumbs.
    What would happen if she sued DHU, claiming that it was interaction with their untested ‘medicine’ that probably caused the unwanted pregnancy?
    I wonder how DHU would refute such a claim, as they are unable to produce any data to support their own claim that there is no interaction whatsoever. As you already hint at, they do claim that their sugar crumbs have medicinal effects. So how can they confidently guarantee that there are no unwanted (side) effects, ever?

    Then again, I do not think that there are many woman in this unpleasant situation who are willing to complicate matters even more for themselves by entering into a lawsuit, even with quite large absolute numbers of oral contraceptive mishaps(*). After all, lawsuits are very expensive, and the outcome of a lawsuit like this is highly uncertain.
    But it’s interesting all the same to ponder what would happen.

    *: A quick glance through this paper suggests that annually, some 250,000 US women on oral contraceptive get inadvertently pregnant despite good compliance. I don’t know if this can be translated to the German situation though (I get some 50.000 cases annually after quick ‘n dirty number-juggling, which seems realistic, albeit a tad on the high side).

    • An excerpt from wikipedia:

      A class action against Boiron, filed in 2011 on behalf of “all California residents who purchased Oscillo at any time within the past four years”, charged that Boiron “falsely advertises that Oscillo has the ability to cure the flu because it contains an active ingredient it claims is proven to get rid of flu symptoms in 48 hours.” The lawsuit also stated that the listed active ingredient in Oscillococcinum (Oscillo) “is actually Muscovy Duck Liver and Heart … and has no known medicinal quality.”[12] A settlement was reached, with Boiron denying any wrongdoing. As part of the settlement, Boiron agreed to make specific changes to its marketing,[13] including adding to their packaging notices like “These ‘Uses’ have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration” and “C, K, CK, and X are homeopathic dilutions.”[14]

      If they had been able to prove that their product works, they could have saved millions of dollars. I seem to recall that the figure was $12 million? Boiron stocks took a brief hit and then continued to rise.

      Also in Canada: https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/us-homeopath-class-action-1.4102161

      Big Homeopathy seems to have big money to pay off class action lawsuits when they cannot lay any evidence on the table.

      • Even though Boiron appears to be taking some serious hits in recent years, $12 million is still a fraction of their business results.
        As an interesting side note, you can see that they only spend $3,5 million on R&D (and I still find this quite a lot, given that they exclusively sell moistened sugar crumbs), but some $180 million on marketing (about half of SG&A Expense).

        Proving that their products work would be prohibitively expensive – because no matter how much money one pours into homeopathy research, the outcome is always and inevitably the same: it doesn’t work. So they won’t even try (which I think is good sense in itself, but also an implicit admission that they routinely defraud the general public). And this goes for all manufacturers of homeopathic products.

  • Fabulous, but of course wrong! The thing about magical thinking is that it’s… magic. Of course a homeopathic remedy can have fabulous beneficial effects but no bad side effects or interactions with other drugs! Do stop trying to apply intelligence, logic, biology, pharmacology, science, rationality and objectivity to the issue. Magic is magic is magic is big business = GOOD.

  • Typical bullshit headline.

    You’re emulating Murdock…is he your new role model?

    • if I wanted to perfect bullshitting, I would take lessons from you, Dana.

    • You mean “Howling Mad Murdock” from the A-Team tv series played by Dwight Schultz?

      Newscorp founder is Rupert Murdoch might be who you mean but you could mean another “Murdock”?

    • @Dana

      Professor Ernst has mastered the art of “yellow journalism”.

    • I think you mean “Murdoch”, Dana.

      If you’re looking for media outlets which use bullshit headlines Dana, there’s better examples out there. Huffington Post is one. They even published one article headlined “The Disinformation Campaign Against Homeopathy” – I mean, you couldn’t dream up a bigger pile of garbage than that, never mind publish it.

  • Homeopathic organisations proclaim their product to be safe for all who take them – because the dose is so minute it is incapable of causing harm. This is perfectly true. They would easily be able to prove this in a court of law.
    In doing so they would also prove that their product is incapable of doing any good. It can do precisely nothing, because it is precisely nothing. Any benefit or any harm someone may experience after taking nothing, has nothing to do with nothing.

    Those who sell products which claim to do something that they cannot possibly do should have a duty to tell their customers each and every time that they should be aware that the product cannot possibly do what it says on the label.

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