The World Health Organization holds homeopathy as the second largest system of medicine in the world. According to surveys homeopathy experiences an annual growth of around 20-25 per cent. It is said that by 2017, the world homeopathy market would be equivalent to the current alternative healthcare market, currently fixed at Rs 52,000 crore.
Research was conducted to find out the potential of the industry through market study and a patient behavior analysis. The research conducted by AC Nielsen also highlighted the contribution of Dr Batra's Positive Health Clinics towards homeopathy. AC Nielsen carried out 650 interviews across seven cities . The subjects were a mix of people with certain specific characteristics. From the lot, 222 interviewees were regular allopathy users, 215 non-Dr Batra's homeopathy users and 213 Dr Batra's homeopathy users . The interviews were between November 2006 and April 2007.
The research gives that 51 per cent of the people suffering from chronic ailments try home remedies and 30 per cent prefer to leave it unattended. Around 26 per cent of people resort to medical intervention. Out of this, 47 per cent people visit their family doctor or a GP (general practitioner), 18 per cent resort to conventional treatments and 34 per cent visit a homeopath if their ailment is chronic.
Responding to this Dr Mukesh Batra, Chairman and Managing Director, Dr Batra's Positive Health Clinics Pvt Ltd. was quoted : "Approximately 81 per cent of people suffering from chronic ailments either self medicate or do nothing at all. This is a disturbing trend throughout the country. Homeopathy is often approached as a last resort when all other treatments have failed. Due to this, the duration of the treatment increases since the ailment reaches an advanced stage. In fact, 52 per cent people in Mumbai believe that homeopathy is safe."
The research also threw up some interesting facts on the friction between conventional medicine and homeopathy. It highlighted that while people opt for conventional medicine because it enjoys top-of-mind recall (59 per cent) and has immediate results (56 per cent), they choose homeopathy because it is safe (53 per cent) or is recommended by friends and relatives (50 per cent). It was also seen that 20 per cent of the population who had never tried allopathy would opt for it because it provides quick relief, and solutions for all problems.
Another noteworthy observation was that while 62 per cent of the current homeopathy users have never tried allopathy , 82 per cent of homoeopathy users would never switch to conventional treatments, in all likelihood.