The problems for homeopathy in Germany do not seem to stop. Recently, the German health minister announced that he will look at the issue of reimbursement of homeopathy. Now, an article in the Deutsche Apotheker Zeitung (German Journal for Pharmacists) critically discussed the question of the place of homeopathy in German pharmacies. At present, pharmacies are the only places that are allowed to sell homeopathic preparations. This undoubtedly gives them a veneer of respectability; many consumers seem to feel that, if homeopathic preparations are only available in pharmacies, they must be well-tested and effective.

But recently, more and more German pharmacists have been pointing out that homeopathy is ineffective nonsense. A journalist who had listened to the advanced training “Homeopathy Highlights” of the Westphalia-Lippe Chamber of Pharmacists, he subsequently confronted the Chamber with the controversial contents of this advanced training event. The Chamber then declared that it would “no longer offer any refresher seminars on the subject of homeopathy with immediate effect” and that the speaker would also no longer work for it.

And now, the Berlin Chamber of Pharmacists wants the pharmacy community to distance itself from homeopathy as a scientifically recognized and evidence-based drug therapy. With its motion, the Chamber wants to achieve that the title “Naturopathic Medicine and Homeopathy” of the training regulations is replaced by the title “Phytopharmacy and Naturopathy”. The justification states: “The permission to use the title ‘pharmacist for naturopathic treatment and homeopathy’ by the state chambers of pharmacists suggests that homeopathy is a scientifically recognized and evidence-based drug therapy”.

I think it is time that German pharmacists remind themselves that they are more than shopkeepers; they are healthcare professionals who have an ethical duty. I have discussed this issue often enough. If you are interested, here are a few of my posts on this subject:

It is high time that German pharmacists do the right thing!




5 Responses to Are homeopathic remedies in Germany about to be banned from pharmacies?

  • Health fraud should be prosecuted and one of the most egregious forms of health fraud is homeopathy.

    One could say that how adults choose to waste their money is there business, but there are at least two very big issues with this. The most serious is that children are being harmed and even killed when parents use homeopathy instead of getting proper medical care. The other is that where homeopathy is paid for out of the public purse (whether from government taxes or by members of a health fund) the system is being robbed of resources needed to treat others.

    For any number of reasons, we must criminalise health fraud and hit this junk hard.

  • I couldn´t agree more.
    Great individual pharmacists like e.g. Iris Hundertmark paved the way, discarding homeopathic nonsense from her pharmacy back in 2018. Banning homeopathy from every pharmacy (as well as other “health products” which have no proven effect), is far overdue.

  • OK, cue the usual apologists with the usual lame excuses:
    – But homeopathy has shown effects in scientific studies! (as in: a mere handful of studies with tiny effects that could not be reliably and independently replicated – IOW statistical noise)
    – People should be free to choose the healthcare they want! (but charlatans and quacks should NOT be free to offer fraudulent, completely useless products and services as ‘effective healthcare’)
    – Shaken, not stirred! Nanobubbles! Boundary layer effects! Quantum thingummies! Universal resonance! Intelligent design homeopaths falling water!
    – …

  • What about quack Chinese, Indian, Naturopathic, Chiropractic practices, etc.? Fraud is criminal, so why let fraudsters get away with it? Make the practice of them all felonies. In the US, The Center for Inquiry is suing CVS pharmacies and Walmart for promoting homeopathic nostrums as medicines.

    • In Germany, it’s great to begin with homeopathiy, the most popular bogus with legal proctection. Remove this, you’ll remove much more – especially a lot of public reputation for bogus medicine!

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