Homeopathy is a form of alternative medicine. Two researchers are debating over the recommendation of homeopathic medicines as one favors its usage, while the other has totally contradicted views.
Peter Fisher of the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine said, "Of all the major forms of complementary medicine, homeopathy was the most misunderstood." Fisher questioned the methods used to review the evidence for homeopathy and argued that the fact that one homeopathic treatment for a condition was ineffective did not mean that another was ineffective as well. Fisher said, "Most overviews have had more favorable conclusions as well, including a Health Technology Assessment commissioned by the Swiss federal government which concluded that homeopathy is probably effective for upper respiratory tract infections and allergies and several meta analyses of homeopathy as a whole and for specific conditions have been positive."
AdvertisementFisher concluded that doctors should put aside bias based on the alleged implausibility of homeopathy as when integrated with standard care homeopathy is safe, popular with patients, improves clinical outcomes without increasing costs and reduces the use of potentially hazardous drugs, including antimicrobials.
Contradicting to his point, Edzard Ernst of the University of Exeter said, "Most independent systematic reviews of randomized controlled trials have failed to show that homeopathy was effective and reviews with positive conclusions usually have serious methodological flaws." Ernst also argued that homeopathy could harm if it replaced an effective therapy. He further added that he knew of several deaths that had occurred in this unnecessary way.
Ernst concluded that the axioms of homeopathy were implausible as the benefits of homeopathy did not outweigh its risks and its costs and opportunity costs were considerable.
The debate has been published in BMJ.
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