Reseach - Homeopathy Vs Allopathy
Integration of homeopathy and complementary medicine in the public health system in Italy: national regulation and regional experiences
Complementary medicine (CM) is being increasingly used by citizens across Europe as a means to maintain their health and to treat illness and disease. In Italy the reform of Title V of the Italian Constitution allows each Region to decide how to put into practice and organize the Public Healthcare System. The agreement among the Italian National Government, the Regions, and the Provinces of Trento and Bolzano on the terms and requirements for the quality certification of training and practice of acupuncture, herbal medicine, and homeopathy by medical doctors and dentists, signed on February 2013, sets up rules for education and training in acupuncture, herbal medicine, homeopathy, homotoxicology, and anthroposophic medicine. Some regions, including Tuscany, have decided to include Complementary Medicine in their Essential Levels of Assistance, by creating some structures that integrate the health services into the public structures. The Homeopathic Clinic in Lucca, funded by the Tuscany Region, was established in 1998 as part of a pilot project aimed at assessing the feasibility of integrating complementary medicine into the public health care system. To date, over 4,000 patients have been consecutively visited at the Homeopathic Clinic in Lucca. Concomitantly, research into homeopathy effectiveness has been conducted on the whole sample and on specific groups of children, women or patients’ parents as well. Studies were also performed on symptom reduction or resolution of atopic diseases, respiratory diseases, side effects of anticancer therapies in women. Other researches concerned cost/effectiveness of therapies, sociodemographic characteristics and compliance of patients, and risk management. The results demonstrate that homeopathy can effectively integrate or, in some cases, substitute allopathic medicine and that the Tuscan example can be useful to the development of national or European rules on CM utilization.
Source : Journal of Medicine and The Person
Link to Abstract
Cost-benefit evaluation of homeopathic versus conventional therapy in respiratory diseases.
Rossi E1, Crudeli L, Endrizzi C, Garibaldi D.
METHODS: A retrospective observational study was conducted on 105 out of 233 patients suffering from chronic respiratory disease attending the Homeopathic Clinic of the Campo di Marte Hospital in Lucca (Tuscany, Italy) between October 1998 and May 2003. We assessed the cost of conventional medicinal products using Anatomic Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) classification, specific for the pathology in question, and the general costs in the year preceding the first appointment at the Homeopathic Clinic vs. the first and second year subsequent to homeopathic treatment. The costs of conventional drugs for a group of patients affected by asthma (8 patients) and recurrent respiratory infections (16 patients) with long term use of conventional medicine treated by homeopathy were compared with the expenses of conventional drugs of a matched group of 16 and 32 patients, respectively.
RESULTS: Costs of pharmacological therapy specific for respiratory diseases were reduced by 46.3% (n=105) in the first year (P<0.01); and by 47.5% (n=72) in the second year (P<0.01) of homeopathic treatment. Reduction in general drug costs during homeopathic therapy was 42.4% in the first year (P<0.01); and -49.8 in the second year (N.S.). Costs for patients affected by chronic asthma showed a reduction in expenses of 71.1% for specific medicines relative to the group in homeopathic treatment vs. an increase of 12.3% in the group treated only with conventional drugs after the first year of follow-up and, respectively, a reduction of -54.4% for homeopathic treatment vs. +45.2% after the second year. For patients with recurrent respiratory infections we found a reduction of 35.8% in the homeopathic group in the first year, compared to an increase 8.6% of costs for specific drugs in the control group; in the second year the respective figures were -43.6% versus +7.8% in the control group.
CONCLUSIONS: Homeopathic treatment for respiratory diseases (asthma, allergic complaints, Acute Recurrent Respiratory Infections) was associated with a significant reduction in the use and costs of conventional drugs. Costs for homeopathic therapy are significantly lower than those for conventional pharmacological therapy.
Source : Journal Homeopathy
Link to Abstract
Homeopathic Medications as Clinical Alternatives for Symptomatic Care of Acute Otitis Media and Upper Respiratory Infections in Children
Iris R Bell, MD, PhD and Nancy N Boyer, RN, NP, PA-C
The public health and individual risks of inappropriate antibiotic prescribing and conventional over-the-counter symptomatic drugs in pediatric treatment of acute otitis media (AOM) and upper respiratory infections (URIs) are significant. Clinical research suggests that over-the-counter homeopathic medicines offer pragmatic treatment alternatives to conventional drugs for symptom relief in children with uncomplicated AOM or URIs. Homeopathy is a controversial but demonstrably safe and effective 200-year-old whole system of complementary and alternative medicine used worldwide. Numerous clinical studies demonstrate that homeopathy accelerates early symptom relief in acute illnesses at much lower risk than conventional drug approaches. Evidence-based advantages for homeopathy include lower antibiotic fill rates during watchful waiting in otitis media, fewer and less serious side effects, absence of drug-drug interactions, and reduced parental sick leave from work. Emerging evidence from basic and preclinical science research counter the skeptics' claims that homeopathic remedies are biologically inert placebos. Consumers already accept and use homeopathic medicines for self care, as evidenced by annual US consumer expenditures of $2.9 billion on homeopathic remedies. Homeopathy appears equivalent to and safer than conventional standard care in comparative effectiveness trials, but additional well-designed efficacy trials are indicated. Nonetheless, the existing research evidence on safety supports pragmatic use of homeopathy in order to “first do no harm” in the early symptom management of otherwise uncomplicated AOM and URIs in children.
Source : Global Advances in Health and Medicine
Link to Full Article
Emerging Economies’ Need for Cheap, Efficient Health Care Makes Western Anti-Homeopathy Rhetoric Irrelevant: Observations from the Canadian Homeopathy Conference, October 2011
Lionel R. Milgrom, PhD, RHom,1 Maria R. Ringo, DHMHS, BGS,2 and Karen M. Wehrstein, BAA, DIHom3
Large-scale use and acceptance of homeopathy in Cuba, Latin America, and India raises questions about the
relevance of campaigns mounted against homeopathy in the United Kingdom, Australia, and other nations of
the developed world, especially as the developing economies of Asia and Latin America are set to outstrip those of the developed world.
Source : THE JOURNAL OF ALTERNATIVE AND COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE Volume 18, Number 7, 2012, pp. 1–4
Link to Full Article
Outcome and costs of homoeopathic and conventional treatment strategies: A comparative cohort study in patients with chronic disorders
Claudia Witta,∗, Thomas Keil a, Dagmar Selima, Stephanie Roll a, Will Vancea, Karl Wegscheiderb, Stefan N. Willich
Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of homoeopathy versus conventional treatment in routine care.
Design: Comparative cohort study.
Setting: Patients with selected chronic diagnoses were enrolled in medical practice.
Interventions: Conventional treatment or homeopathy.
Outcome measures: Severity of symptoms assessed by patients and physicians (visual
rating scale, 0—10) at baseline, 6 and 12 months and costs.
Results: The analyses of 493 patients (315 adults, 178 children) indicated greater improvement in patients’ assessments after homoeopathic versus conventional treatment (adults: homeopathy from 5.7 to 3.2;conventional, 5.9—4.4; p = 0.002; children from 5.1 to 2.6 and from 4.5 to 3.2). Physician assessments were also more favourable for children who had received homoeopathic treatment (4.6—2.0 and
3.9—2.7; p < 0.001). Overall costs showed no significant differences between both treatment groups (adults, D 2155 versus D 2013, p = 0.856;children, D 1471 versus D 786, p = 0.137).
Conclusion: Patients seeking homoeopathic treatment had a better outcome overall compared with patients on conventional treatment, whereas total costs in both groups were similar.
Source : Complementary Therapies in Medicine (2005) 13, 79—86
Link to Full Article
The impact of the medical speciality in primary health-care problem solving in Belo Horizonte, Brazil: homeopaths versus family doctors: a preliminary quantitative study
Iannotti G, Melo EM
Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (UNC), Argentina.
INTRODUCTION: This research project examined influence of the doctors' speciality on primary health care (PHC) problem solving in Belo Horizonte (BH) Brazil, comparing homeopathic with family health doctors (FH), from the management's and the patients' viewpoint. In BH, both FH and homeopathic doctors work in PHC. The index of resolvability (IR) is used to compare resolution of problems by doctors.
METHODS: The present research compared IR, using official data from the Secretariat of Health and test requests made by the doctors and 482 structured interviews with patients. A total of 217,963 consultations by 14 homeopaths and 67 FH doctors between 1 July 2006 and 30 June 2007 were analysed.
RESULTS: The results show significant differences greater problem resolution by homeopaths compared to FH doctors.
CONCLUSION: In BH, the medical speciality, homeopathy or FH, has an impact on problem solving, both from the managers' and the patients' point of view. Homeopaths request fewer tests and have better IR compared with FH doctors. Specialisation in homeopathy is an independent positive factor in problem solving at PHC level in BH, Brazil.
Source : Homeopathy : the Journal of the Faculty of Homeopathy [2012, 101(1):44-50]
Link to Abstract
Scientific framework of homeopathy: Evidence-based Homeopathy
Michel Van Wassenhoven (MD)
Liga Medicorum Homeopathica Internationalis & European Committee for Homeopathy
Paper aims at considering all important aspects of the scientific framework of homeopathic practice, looking at the levels of scientific evidence of each aspect in an objective way, through an extensive review of literature. Levels of evidence considered are: I) existence of meta-analyses and/or systematic positive reviews of literature; IIa) multiple positive randomized controlled trials (RCTs); IIb) some positive RCTs; IIIa) positive multiple cohorts studies; IIIb) positive studies with some cohorts; IV) opinion of experts (clinical and daily practice cases).
Conclusions are clear: homeopathy must stay within the framework of medical practice, and it is even a necessity for public health.
Source : Int J High Dilution Res 2008; 7(23): 72-92,
Link to Full Article
Pharmacoeconomic comparison between homeopathic and antibiotic treatment strategies in recurrent acute rhinopharyngitis in children.
Trichard M, Chaufferin G, Nicoloyannis N.
BOIRON, 20 rue de la Liberation, 69 110 Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon, France. firstname.lastname@example.org
AbstractOBJECTIVES: A pharmacoeconomic study to compare, in terms of: medical effectiveness, quality of life and costs two treatment strategies ('homeopathic strategy' vs 'antibiotic strategy') used in routine medical practice by allopathic and homeopathic GPs in the treatment of recurrent acute rhinopharyngitis in 18-month to 4-year-old children.
METHODS: Statistical analysis of data obtained from a population of 499 patients included in a previous 6-month prospective, pragmatic study. The patients were regrouped according to type of drug prescribed. Medical effectiveness was assessed in terms of (i) episodes of acute rhinopharyngitis, (ii) complications, (iii) adverse effects. Quality of life was assessed using the Par-Ent-Qol scale. Direct medical costs (medical consultations, drug prescriptions, prescriptions for further tests) and indirect medical costs (sick-leave) were evaluated from three viewpoints (society, patient, Social Security) using public prices and French Social Security tariffs.
RESULTS: The 'homeopathic strategy' yielded significantly better results than the 'antibiotic strategy' in terms of medical effectiveness (number of episodes of rhinopharyngitis: 2.71 vs 3.97, P<0.001; number of complications: 1.25 vs 1.95, P<0.001), and quality of life (global score: 21.38 vs 30.43, P<0.001), with lower direct medical costs covered by Social Security (88 Euros vs 99 Euros, P<0.05) and significantly less sick-leave (9.5% of parents vs 31.6% of parents, P<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Homeopathy may be a cost-effective alternative to antibiotics in the treatment of recurrent infantile rhinopharyngitis.
Link to Abstract
Homeopathy and conventional medicine: an outcomes study comparing effectiveness in a primary care setting.
Riley D, Fischer M, Singh B, Haidvogl M, Heger M.
University of New Mexico Medical School, Albuquerque, USA. email@example.com
AbstractBACKGROUND: Recent meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials in homeopathy have suggested that homeopathy is more than a placebo response.
OBJECTIVE: Comparison of the effectiveness of homeopathy in primary care with conventional medicine in primary care for three commonly encountered clinical conditions.
DESIGN: An international multicenter, prospective, observational study in a real world medical setting comparing the effectiveness of homeopathy with conventional medicine.
PARTICIPANTS: Thirty (30) investigators with conventional medical licenses at six clinical sites in four countries enrolled 500 consecutive patients with at least one of the following three complaints: (1) upper respiratory tract complaints including allergies; (2) lower respiratory tract complaints including allergies; or (3) ear complaints.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcomes criterion was the response to treatment, defined as cured or major improvement after 14 days of treatment. Secondary outcomes criteria were: (1) rate of recovery; (2) occurrence of adverse events; (3) patient satisfaction; and (4) length of consultation.
RESULTS: Four hundred and fifty-six (456) patient visits were compared: 281 received homeopathy, 175 received conventional medicine. The response to treatment as measured by the primary outcomes criterion for patients receiving homeopathy was 82.6%, for conventional medicine it was 68%. Improvement in less than 1 day and in 1 to 3 days was noted in 67.3% of the group receiving homeopathy and in 56.6% of those receiving conventional medicine. The adverse events for those treated with conventional medicine was 22.3% versus 7.8% for those treated with homeopathy. Seventy-nine percent (79.0%) of patients treated with homeopathy were very satisfied and 65.1% of patients treated with conventional, medicine were very satisfied. In both treatment groups 60% of cases had consultations lasting between 5 and 15 minutes.
CONCLUSIONS: Homeopathy appeared to be at least as effective as conventional medical care in the treatment of patients with the three conditions studied.
Source : J Altern Complement Med. 2001 Apr;7(2):149-59
Link to Full Article
Allopathic versus Homeopathic Strategies and the Recurrence of Prescriptions: Results from a Pharmacoeconomic Study in Italy
Andrea Basili, 1 Francesco Lagona, 2 * Paolo Roberti di Sarsina, 3 Corallina Basili, 1 and Teresa Valeria Paterna 1
This is a pharmaeconomic study to assess the impact of different, cost-specific pharmacological strategies on the recurrence rate of prescriptions in the treatment of cold symptoms. Data were obtained from a prospective cohort study reporting individual prescriptions histories of subjects experiencing cold symptoms, obtained by a stratified random sample of 316 subjects, clustered into 139 Italian families, followed up for 40months. Costs of homeopathic and allopathic treatments were recorded within each prescription. A Cox proportional hazards model with random effects was exploited to regress time elapsed between subsequent prescriptions over the relative difference between homeopathic- and allopathic-related costs, adjusting for age and gender and accounting for unobserved individual heterogeneity. Relative risks of event (prescription) re-occurrence have been estimated. The recurrence rate of prescriptions raise when allopathic strategies are preferred to homeopathic alternatives. No significant differences were observed between gender groups, while age was marginally significant. Inter-subjects heterogeneity was not significant.
Source : Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011; 2011: 969343.
Link to Full Study
Patient satisfaction and side effects in primary care: An observational study comparing homeopathy and conventional medicine
Florica Marian1, Kerstin Joost1, Krishan D Saini1, Klaus von Ammon1, André Thurneysen1 and André Busato2*
1 Institute for Complementary Medicine KIKOM, University of Bern, Imhoof Pavillon, Inselspital, CH-3010, Bern, Switzerland
2 Institute for Evaluative Research in Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Bern, Stauffacherstrasse 78, CH-3014, Bern, Switzerland
Background This study is part of a nationwide evaluation of complementary medicine in Switzerland (Programme Evaluation of Complementary Medicine PEK) and was funded by the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health. The main objective of this study is to investigate patient satisfaction and perception of side effects in homeopathy compared with conventional care in a primary care setting.
Methods We examined data from two cross-sectional studies conducted in 2002–2003. The first study was a physician questionnaire assessing structural characteristics of practices. The second study was conducted on four given days during a 12-month period in 2002/2003 using a physician and patient questionnaire at consultation and a patient questionnaire mailed to the patient one month later (including Europep questionnaire).
The participating physicians were all trained and licensed in conventional medicine. An additional qualification was required for medical doctors providing homeopathy (membership in the Swiss association of homeopathic physicians SVHA).
Results A total of 6778 adult patients received the questionnaire and 3126 responded (46.1%). Statistically significant differences were found with respect to health status (higher percentage of chronic and severe conditions in the homeopathic group), perception of side effects (higher percentage of reported side effects in the conventional group) and patient satisfaction (higher percentage of satisfied patients in the homeopathic group).
Conclusion Overall patient satisfaction was significantly higher in homeopathic than in conventional care. Homeopathic treatments were perceived as a low-risk therapy with two to three times fewer side effects than conventional care
Source : BMC
Link to Full Article