The Independent London Newspaper

 

Letters: Homeopathy has always had NHS role

Published: 15 November, 2013

• AS patients of a clinic in Islington where we see our homeopath, Jennifer Hautman, RSHom, we are surprised to learn that the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is pursuing a single complaint regarding 24 words on the clinic website that state homeopathy “is sanctioned by the UK government and has been an integral part of the National Health Service (NHS) since 1948”.

This is a statement of fact. Homeopathy has been part of the NHS since it was founded in 1948.

Aneurin Bevan, founder of the NHS, promised that “… under the National Health Service Act homeopathic institutions will be enabled to provide their own form of treatment and the continuity of the characteristics of those institutions will be maintained…”

Every government in power since 1948 has continued to fund homeopathy on the NHS to some extent.

So it is merely self evident that the government sanctions homeopathy as a treatment of choice if a patient wants it.

ASA Ltd, a private organisation, should not be abusing its powers to censor self-employed individuals by questioning factual information that does no harm to anyone. Whatever people think or say about homeopathy, it’s up to us as patients to make up our own minds. 

We use alternative medicine because it’s safe and effective.

The ASA, however, has a lobby group called the Nightingale Collaboration (NC) that it considers to be a “key stakeholder” informing its decisions, and with whom it has, in its own words, a “continued dialogue at a high level”. 

But why is the NC, an organisation specifically set up to target complementary health therapists, prioritised by the ASA, over and above patients and users of complementary therapists?

Why have they been given priority over and above patient choice and safety?

ABI HARDY, ACHILLES NIKOLAOU, ANNIKA MARTIN, GABRIELLA CEVALLOS, J BURNS, MANDI KALAIR, MARIA MOUSKOU, MAXINE RHODES, TIM HARWOOD, JOAN CELESTIN, NICOLE SCHUBERT, YAMINA DJEHICHE and MELANIE SPARKS.
Patients of Jennifer
Hautman RSHom
Registered homeopath

Comments

Homeopathy is good for the

Homeopathy is good for the different disease. It cure it without any effects on body and stomach but it is the slow process and take time to heal.

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THE REAL ISSUES IS STATE CONTROLLED ASSESSMENT AND CONTROL.

Sadly for all of US globally the real issues of Homeopathy and the opposition given from the Big Pharmas and the interested stakeholders is a concern since the creation of how ill health is a good stock for investment. If patients with ill health healed stock would be bad investment. That is the issue along side with assisted genocide done to us globally from contaminants done to us from vaccinations, water with fluoride etc, chemi trails, mind controlled ill health under Haarp Strings. WE GLOBALLY HAVE A BIG ISSUE FOR OUR SURVIVAL, THE ASA DOES NOT COMPREHEND THE PURPOSE OF HOW OUR LIFE ON EARTH IS AT BIG RISK FROM THE REAL ISSUES TO US ALL. I KNOW ONE DAY SOON WE MAY NOT HAVE A LIFE ON EARTH...AS ITS A SUBJECT OF LIFE. NOT SUBJECTED TO ASA GUIDELINES ON WHAT IS CORRECT AND INCORRECT FORMAT OF ADVERTISING IF LIFE GLOBALLY IS AT RISK WE ALL AT RISK.

Impossible evidence

If the ASA was genuine in its approach to homeopathy, it would not have made it impossible to provide evidence in support of homeopathy.

Homeopathy is crucially based on giving individualised treatment.

In 2013 the ASA ruled that only evidence of efficacy would be accepted, and that only randomised control trials (RCTs) were valid evidence of efficacy.

At the same time it ruled that RCTs involving individualised treatment could not prove efficacy.

So the ASA is insisting that homeopaths prove the efficacy of an individualising system of medicine so long as they do so without individualising the treatment.

This is unscientific and ridiculous.

Non-compliant online advertiser

Islington Homeopathic Clinic would appear not to be interested in complying with the ASA's adjudication against them - they have just appeared on the ASA's Non-compliant online advertisers (http://www.asa.org.uk/Rulings/Non-compliant-online-advertisers/Islington...)

The ASA say:

"Despite requests for an assurance of compliance from the CAP Compliance team, the website www.homeopathyislington.co.uk remains non compliant.

Because of Islington Homeopathic Clinic’s continued non compliance, we took the decision to place the details for www.homeopathyislington.co.uk on the ASA section of the website on 30 January 2014.

Their details shall remain in place until such time as the website www.homeopathyislington.co.uk is amended."

It is disappointing to note that the clinic does not seem to take their responsibilities seriously by not complying with the same rules that other advertisers are expected to.

Jennifer Hautman's Response to ASA

Dear all,

How wonderful to see such a lively debate. Please see my response to the ASA here: http://www.hautmanhomeopathy.com/advertising-standards

Clearly there are two sides to this argument, and neither is about to budge. The main difference being that one side has actually sincerely tried homeopathy for themselves (despite many, if not most, having been genuine sceptics before doing so).

The other side however, refuses to even consider trying it, has too much vested interested in not ever doing so, and will therefore cling on to the pathetic single scrap of the same old discredited report, repeated ad nauseum, that they claim 'proves' their point (ie Shang et al which cherry picked 8 anonymous RCT's): https://sites.google.com/a/hautmanhomeopathy.com/www/home/links/evidence...

No matter the tsunami of evidence against them (here's a few examples): http://www.hautmanhomeopathy.com/home/evidence-base-for-homeopathy

Not to mention the increasing popularity of homeopathy around the world: http://www.hautmanhomeopathy.com/around-the-world

So I leave it to readers to make up their own minds, just as my patients have and will continue to do so.

Finally, I would like to thank the ASA for the link to my site they threaten to sanction me with, and to the Nightingale Collaboration for all the extra hits I'm seeing in Google Analytics (especially, unusually, from men aged 18-24), both of which will only help boost my Google ratings and help new clients find me (I'm already seeing lapsed patients returning after being informed of this issue, as well as an increase in new patients).

And thanks especially to my patients for publishing this letter, sparking this debate, and helping to better inform us about exactly what the ASA advertising standards are, and exactly how much authority they have.

Many blessings to you all,

Jennifer Hautman
BA (Hons), MA, BSc (Hons), RSHom

ASA adjudication published today

The ASA adjudication against Islington Homeopathy Clinic has just been published and we can finally see exactly what was complained about, what the homeopath's response was what the ASA decided:

http://asa.org.uk/Rulings/Adjudications/2014/2/Islington-Homeopathy-Clin...

The issue identified by the ASA was:

"A complainant challenged whether the claim that homeopathy "is sanctioned by the UK government and has been an integral part of the National Health Service (NHS) since it was founded in 1948" was misleading and could be substantiated, because he believed it suggested homeopathy was an effective treatment."

So, the issue was not as presented in this letter - that it was factually correct that homeopathy has been part of the NHS since it was founded in 1948; that was not what was being questioned.

What was being questioned was that the statement about homeopathy being part of the NHS implied that homeopathy was in some way validated by this as an effective treatment.

As I understand it, the advertiser would have been told the issue the ASA had identified and were investigating. As ASA complaints are not made public until the adjudication is published (ie today), the advertiser was, presumably, the only person outside the ASA who had knowledge of this wording, so it is very odd that that was not mentioned in this letter, written by a number of her customers.

However, the ASA summarised the advertiser's response:

"Islington Homeopathy Clinic said a promise was made by Aneurin Bevan, founder of the NHS, when it was founded in 1948, that "... under the National Health Service Act homeopathic institutions will be enabled to provide their own form of treatment and the continuity of the characteristics of those institutions will be maintained ...". They said every government since then had continued to fund homeopathic treatment through the NHS. They cited several examples of reports or statements by the UK government or by individual members of the government which were supportive of homeopathy, all of which they believed supported the claim that homeopathy was "sanctioned" by the UK government."

The ASA assessment was:

"The ASA considered that the wording of the claim suggested acceptance of homeopathy as an effective treatment by the UK government and the NHS and considered that Islington Homeopathy Clinic needed to hold evidence for that. We noted that information published by NHS Choices stated that homeopathic treatment was available through the NHS in certain circumstances. It said the Department of Health did not maintain a position on homeopathy, but that it was the responsibility of local NHS organisations to decide whether to fund homeopathic treatment for their patients. The information explained the principles behind homeopathy, but stated in several places that there was no good quality evidence that homeopathy was an effective treatment for any health conditions. While we did not dispute that homeopathic treatment was available through the NHS in certain circumstances, we considered that Islington Homeopathy Clinic had not demonstrated that homeopathy was accepted as an effective treatment by the UK government and the NHS. Because of that, we concluded that the claim was misleading."

Because the advertiser was unable to substantiate the claim, the ASA upheld the complaint, stating:

"The claim breached CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1 and 3.3 (Misleading advertising), 3.7 (Substantiation) and 3.50 (Endorsements and testimonials)."

...and said that the claim must not appear again in its current form.

Now we know.

Alan Henness
Director
The Nightingale Collaboration

Who regulates ASA Limited in UK?

Homeopathy has been available on the National Health Service in Britain since 1948. Then the Government pledged that homeopathy would continue to be available on the NHS, as long as there were “patients wishing to receive it and doctors willing to provide it”.

Ref.: http://sueyounghistories.com/archives/2008/02/05/aneurin-bevan-and-homeo...

ASA bias against and censorship of Complementary and Alternative Medicine https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/ASA_bias_against_and_censorship_of_...

If only you could show that

If only you could show that the ASA have treated alternative therapy advertisers any differently to any other advertiser.

Fallacious arguments

The arguments in favour of homeopathy are uniformly fallacious. Appeals to tradition, popularity and so on. The facts are as follows:

1. There is no reason to suppose it should work. its doctrines were refuted over a century ago.

2. there is no way it can work. No remotely plausible mechanism has ever been suggested, and its core tenets are at odds with everyday scientific reality.

3. There is no proof it does work. Every result is compatible with the null hypothesis.

Homeopathy is a fraud, and it is wrong to spend public money on it, and wrong to give it any form of legitimacy. People who rely on homeopathy when they are genuinely ill, end up dead. That's why it's not a game.

Homeopathy actually works,

Homeopathy actually works, which is why it's popular & has become a tradition. Nothing in the history of medicine has ever survived the test of time unless it was effective. Snake-oil salesmen wisely packed their bags shortly after peddling their goods, but homeopathy is still around - it doesn't take 200 years for people to uncover a fraud, & homeopathy certainly isn't.

Those who call homeopathy a fraud are themselves conspiracy theorists, as they're in essence claiming a conspiracy of everyone who practices or supports homeopathy. Conversely, if something is so efficacious, as supposedly pharma drugs are, then why is their popularity & tradition on the decline? Time for pharma to pack their bags.

Legal, decent, honest and truthful?

Thank you to the previous commenter for pointing out the obvious about the ASA doing their job.

I can assure the writers of this letter and Hautman that the Nightingale Collaboration is not the complainant in this case and it has nothing to do with us. We were not aware of this complaint until we read this letter.

The ASA's advertising rules (the CAP Code) are there to protect consumers from misleading advertising made by anyone and it is open to anyone to submit a complaint about advertising if they suspect it might be misleading. As the rules state, the onus is entirely on the advertiser to substantiate any claim they make if they are challenged.

Abiding by these rules is important whether advertising soap powder, double-glazing or anti-wrinkle cream; it is arguably even more important in the advertising of products and services that make healthcare claims.

I can also assure the writers that we do not inform the ASA's decisions: we are confident they are perfectly capable of reaching their own conclusions about misleading ads based on the evidence provided by advertisers.

To counter the impression that some readers may have had from the reference to the ASA as a 'private organisation', the ASA are the established means of regulating advertising and have been for over 50 years. They have recently announced new powers to refer advertisers who continue to break the rules on misleading advertising to Trading Standards who can consider legal sanctions to bring them into line.

Of course, the alternative to the current industry self-regulation by the ASA might be some form of statutory regulation by a body set up under an Act of Parliament, with legal powers of enforcement. Is that what practitioners would like to see?

However, we sincerely hope that no homeopath would want to advertise in a manner that wasn't legal, decent, honest and truthful.

Alan Henness
Director
The Nightingale Collaboration
Challenging misleading healthcare claims

ASA: awkward and feeble

By allowing itself to be lobbied by fanatical ideological minorities such as the NC, ASA is quickly loosing any bit of credibility that once might have commanded.
The fact that it has the word "authority" in its name is in itself highly misleading, since it has no enforcing powers and it can only make recommendations.
The fact that it's using their budget, and their resources to do the bidding of a handful of individuals who called themselves skeptics, pursuing and harassing legitimate professionals while ignoring fraudulent advertising claims by big companies, including some in the pharmaceutical industry, is damaging the confidence of the British public in The Advertising Standards Authority.

The ASA are NOT being lobbied. They are doing their job.

Anonymous said:

"By allowing itself to be lobbied by fanatical ideological minorities such as the NC"

Those are strong accusations, yet you have provided no substantiation for them.

"ASA is quickly loosing any bit of credibility that once might have commanded."

I would suggest that this is only happening with proponents of alternative therapies who maybe don't like being held to the same standards as all other advertisers.

"The fact that it has the word "authority" in its name is in itself highly misleading, since it has no enforcing powers and it can only make recommendations."

Perhaps you should submit a complaint to them about that? We do provide helpful advice on our website so that anyone can challenge any ad they think might be misleading.

But of course, the ASA do have powers of enforcement and they have recently announced an agreement with Trading Standards so they can refer persistent breaches of the Code to them for possible prosecution under consumer protection legislation.

"The fact that it's using their budget, and their resources to do the bidding of a handful of individuals who called themselves skeptics"

Well, that's what the ASA is there to do and have been doing: responding to the concerns of any member of the public, competitor or organisation. We are no different from any other.

"pursuing and harassing legitimate professionals"

No. We submit complaints about advertising claims we believe are questionable. The CAP Code states that an advertiser must hold evidence of the required standard to substantiate all claims made. The ASA examine the evidence and they and they alone come to an independent decision as to whether the advertiser has been able to substantiate their claims. If they are unable to, they adjudication goes against them.

If an advertiser doesn't want to be in that position, he or she should ensure they do hold the necessary evidence for any claim made. The ASA even provide a very helpful free advice service that advertisers can use to check whether there is likely to be a problem with any claims they want to make before they run the ad. Is there any part of that you believe the ASA shouldn't apply to advertisers of alternative therapies?

"while ignoring fraudulent advertising claims by big companies, including some in the pharmaceutical industry"

The help we give on our website can be used by anyone to submit a complaint about any ad they come across, but, of course, it is illegal to advertise prescription-only medicines to the public in the UK, isn't it?

"is damaging the confidence of the British public in The Advertising Standards Authority."

I think the public will be very pleased to know that they are being protected from misleading advertising claims, don't you?

But if you don't think the ASA is up to the job, perhaps you could suggest what you might like to see its place? Statutory regulation with stronger powers of enforcement?

Or perhaps you'd like a free-for-all, with no regulation whatsoever - remembering that would have to apply to all advertisers, including Big Pharma.

Alan Henness
Director
The Nightingale Collaboration
Challenging misleading healthcare claims

Homeopathy

Homeopathy has worked wonderfully for me and my family for the past 44 years.

No, you confused correlation with causation..

..which is the main reason people attribute magical properties to fake medicine.

Homeopathy Works -- Beautifully and Safely

As an extremely satisfied user of homeopathic medicines for many, many years I must say that it has worked so beautifully for me -- especially in treating my chronic insomnia for which con med could only offer addictive pills -- that it is now my primary form of medicine.

I applaud Jennifer Hautman for the work she does that is so wonderfully helpful for so many. I applaud her patients for speaking out about this unjust harassment of Ms. Hautman and homeopathy.

Homeopathy is an extremely successful and safe system medicine as well as being inexpensive. Choice of medicine is a human right. We have to ask ourselves what an organization like the Nightingale Collaboration achieves by attempting to prevent the use of good, safe, inexpensive medicine.

A level playing field

"We have to ask ourselves what an organization like the Nightingale Collaboration achieves by attempting to prevent the use of good, safe, inexpensive medicine."

Neither the Nightingale Collaboration nor the ASA are preventing anyone from spending their money on homeopathy.

What we want is advertisers of homeopathy to simply abide by the same rules and laws that everyone else has to.

However, since there is no good evidence that homeopathy is any more than a placebo, it cannot be described as a 'good medicine', inexpensive or otherwise.

Legal, decent, honest and truthful?

Thank you to the previous commenter for pointing out the obvious about the ASA doing their job.

I can assure the writers of this letter and Hautman that the Nightingale Collaboration is not the complainant in this case and it has nothing to do with us. We were not aware of this complaint until we read this letter.

The ASA's advertising rules (the CAP Code) are there to protect consumers from misleading advertising made by anyone and it is open to anyone to submit a complaint about advertising if they suspect it might be misleading. As the rules state, the onus is entirely on the advertiser to substantiate any claim they make if they are challenged.

Abiding by these rules is important whether advertising soap powder, double-glazing or anti-wrinkle cream; it is arguably even more important in the advertising of products and services that make healthcare claims.

I can also assure the writers that we do not inform the ASA's decisions: we are confident they are perfectly capable of reaching their own conclusions about misleading ads based on the evidence provided by advertisers.

To counter the impression that some readers may have had from the reference to the ASA as a 'private organisation', the ASA are the established means of regulating advertising and have been for over 50 years. They have recently announced new powers to refer advertisers who continue to break the rules on misleading advertising to Trading Standards who can consider legal sanctions to bring them into line.

Of course, the alternative to the current industry self-regulation by the ASA might be some form of statutory regulation by a body set up under an Act of Parliament, with legal powers of enforcement. Is that what practitioners would like to see?

However, we sincerely hope that no homeopath would want to advertise in a manner that wasn't legal, decent, honest and truthful.

Alan Henness
Director
The Nightingale Collaboration
Challenging misleading healthcare claims

ASA

ASA takes a very interesting stand on Homeopathy. It has decided that there is no evidence to support its effectiveness, and in doing so, ignores over 200 years patient experience, and over 200 Randominsed Controlled Trials. Immediately, we must sense a rat! 

The stand the ASA takes on

The stand the ASA takes on homeopathy is exactly the same stand it takes on any claims for any other product being advertised: the advertiser must hold good evidence for those claims. The ASA are entirely transparent about what they consider 'good evidence' and applies exactly the same rules to everyone, regardless of whether the claims are for homeopathy, used cars, yoghurt or alcohol.

We have to ask why homeopaths want a much lower hurdle of evidence just for them?

homeopathy doesn't work; ASA doing its job

Science shows that homeopathy doesn't work (no properly structured trial has shown any effect beyond placebo); science also explains why homeopathy won't work (there's nothing in it and the mechanisms that it is claimed to be based on don't exist). Psychology explains why people believe homeopathy works when it doesn't (placebo effect, cognitive biases). The ASA is tasked with protecting consumers from false claims made by advertisers. Sorry your beliefs are threatened by dispassionate inquiry and rational thought, but that's life.

World-Wide Epidemics, Pandemics & Homeopathy

The use of homeopathy in the treatment of people in disasters, epidemics and pandemics world-wide is impressive.

http://drnancymalik.wordpress.com/2013/01/23/epidemics-and-pandemics/

The wonderful therapy of Homeopathy

Your comments might well be believed relating to adults, however, homeopathic remedies work just as effectively on animals and small children. My grandson was given remedies days after he was born for 'birth trauma' and we saw a positive response in minutes which was longlasting (I am a qualified Homeopath). Any medicine which creates healing and harmony in any sense cannot be dismissed, and btw there are lots of research examples showing positive homeopathic results - you just haven't looked for them. Babies know nothing about a placebo effect and 'cognitive biases'! I also see that although you have strong beliefs you can't even put your name to them - empty words based on blind opinion not knowledge. Unless you have studied homeopathy, experienced homeopathic healing or prescribed homeopathy, you will not understand just as I don't understand how to fly a rocket to the moon. By the way any placebo effect from any kind of medicine can only be positive, better than taking drugs which give negative side effects creating more symptoms.

No, homeopathy doesn't work on babies and animals

There is no good, independent, robust evidence that homeopathy works on animals or children and many more prosaic, parsimonious reasons that explain any effects observed.

A very readable outline of how we can all be fooled into thinking homeopathy works on babies and animals can be found here: http://punkpsychologist.blogspot.co.uk/2010/02/homeopathy-does-not-work-...

How the NC Bullies Homeopaths

From my blog, examples of contempt shown for homeopaths and homeopathic patients such as myself.

http://fighting-for-homeopathy.blogspot.com/2013/08/see-how-homeopathy-s...

Sandra Courtney

Sandra, you forgot to mention that when people have commented challenging the rubbish on your blog, you delete and block them, so it is utterly unreliable as an informational resource.

It's important to separate the people from the claims. Skeptics feel great sympathy with people who have been scammed by homeopathy, that sympathy does not stop us challenging the fraudulent claims made by you and other homeopathy believers.

Society of Homeopathy Code of Conduct

As someone who has read the SOH Code of Ethics and Practice I am surprised to learn that Jennifer Hautman is not co-operating fully with the ASA to ensure that her advertising is "decent, honest and legal".

After all, as a member of the Society of Homeopaths she is committed to upholding section 38) of their Code of Ethics and Practice which states:-

"Members should ensure that they do not allow misleading advertising and information about their practice. Advertising should be honest, decent, legal and truthful as DEFINED by the Advertising Standards Authority"

I'm sure she knows better though.

and if the truth is told?

As I see this there is nothing incorrect or inaccurate in the statement that homeopathy “is sanctioned by the UK government and has been an integral part of the National Health Service (NHS) since 1948." So it has and is, therefore what can the complaint which the ASA lodges be about?

The ASA is in fact a private and not a government organisation and I believe that if one goes a little deeper one will find that there is no legal standing whatsoever to this organisation.

Legal back-stop

If the advertiser can provide good evidence for the claim, then the claim would not be upheld, would it?

I see that the ASA now has an agreement to refer habitual breakers of the advertising code to Trading Standards to be dealt with under consumer protection legislation:

http://asa.org.uk/News-resources/Media-Centre/2013/ASA-legal-backstop.aspx

Of course, the alternative to advertising industry self-regulation might be statutory regulation under an Act of Parliament with legal powers of enforcement, possibly including fines and imprisonment. Is that what homeopaths would like to see?

Correction

I should have said:

"If the advertiser can provide good evidence for the claim, then the *complaint* would not be upheld, would it?"

A remarkable exercise in disinformation

I nwon't dissect it all here, suffice to say it would take far too long. Just this:

"it’s safe and effective"

Wrong. Very,very, wrong. Dangerously wrong, in fact. Homeopathy is not effective at treating anything, except having more money than sense. Homeopathy is sugar pills and water and vitalistic mumbo-jumbo. They don't accept germ theory, for example. When you factor in bizarre practices such as the ritual sacrifice of one Muscovy duck every year in order to sell millions of lactose pilules as a flu treatment, it is clearly closer to witch doctoring than medical doctoring.

And that is why it isn't safe, either. Homeopaths and other self-styled "alternative medicine" adepts frequently encourage people to use their quack nostrums in place of real treatment. People, including children, have died because of a misplaced faith in the virtues of magical mystery cures like homeopathy.

Homeopathy is Not placebo

Dear ,
Homeopathy is not placebo it works, It stands for test.If not if will not sustain since 200 years. There are more therapies vanished after Homeopathy so also allopathy will vanish after some time.If you dont know how it works, do you neglect it that it won't work. How foolish thought.
here are some research work How Homeopathy works:
http://ushahomeopathy.com/#page3
http://homeoresearch.blogspot.com/search/label/K.Research%20Paper
http://homeoresearch.blogspot.in/

Good luck.

Just doing their job

The ASA is there to check claims are legal decent and honest. Whilst alternative health practitioners do not like the Nightingale Collaboration it is interesting to note that when their complaints are investigated they almost all are upheld because the content they complain about fails to meet the standards of the ASA. As to why they have high level discussions I would imagine that is because the Nightingale Collaboration aims to minimise the workload of the ASA by collating complaints and informing people that they have made them, thereby cutting case numbers down and streamlining the process. This does nto mena that they have special consideration, or any clout when the AS reaches it's evidence based conclusions.

This is not popular with those who have accepted the unproven assertions of mostly non-medically qualified alternative health practitioners, but the claims that are made are found in many cases to be unevidenced and likely to mislead people on issues of health.

It is ridiculous to suggest that advertising should be based upon whether people believe it to be true for health issues, and claims should be demonstrably and objectively proven, or it would be open season for snake oil salesmen. Appeals to popularity do not mean that homeopathy actually works, appeals to diversity does not mean homeopathy works. As the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Science Officer and NHS Choices (which examines the evidence and publishes advice about treatments) there is no evidence that Homeopathy has any causal relationship with anyone getting better.

That being the case why should people who make money from it be allowed to state otherwise.

If all is well with the website then the NC complaint will not be upheld. However the track record for NC and their complaints suggests that it will be upheld as being misleading.

Evidence

Dear Chief Medical Officer You say there is no evidence that Homeopathy has any causal relationship with anyone getting better. There is plenty. Do your home work before you state this claim.

Anecdote versus evidence

There are anecdotes, there is no proper evidence. To be clear:

* There is no reason to suppose homeopathy should work, its doctrines were refuted over a century ago.
* There is no way homeopathy can work, it is contradicted by well established principles of everyday science.
* There is no proof it does work, every observation is compatible with the null hypothesis.

The CMO knows this. Skeptics know this. The Advertising Standards Authority know this. The only people who deny it are the true believers. That is why the true believers have to be regulated, because they make false claims and refuse to accept they are false.

Evidence, what evidence?

It would be very helpful if you could say what you believe that evidence of causality is.

opponents shout louder than supporters

opponents shout louder than supporters because opponents are angry ( and uninformed) whereas supporters are happy and experienced

The uninformed angry have traditionally always shouted louder than the well informed and content.

sadly those in power listen more to the disgruntled than to the content

Uninformed?

I am an opponent of the false claims of homeopathists. I am very well informed about homeopathy, its history, the errors which led to its popularity and so on.

You claim that homeopathists are better informed, yet they make provably false claims such as the Swiss government finding homeopathy safe and effective: they did not, this claim has been specifically refuted by the official responsible, yet homeopathists still repeat it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeopathy

homeopathy patients

Brilliant letter expressing what all patients who use homeopathy think and feel.

Patient Choice!

It is wonderful to read this article and to see it published so that the voice of the patients can be heard. There are some great questions asked to which I hope the author/s of the article with get a clear and compete response promptly, from the UK Govt, NHS and also the ASA.
Keep up the good work, homeopathy is my medicine of choice!

True

I find it extraordinary that the ASA is even considering investigating complaints of this kind. People are doing caring jobs in the community, and they need support not harassment. Whatever our needs, we all depend on having different options for our health problems. We need to keep diversity, primary and complementary care in the NHS.

I would really like to know more about the ASA and how it is accountable (or not).

Caring?

I do not see how it can be a 'caring job' to make misleading health claims. That is the opposite of caring. That is irresponsible and dangerous.

The ASA do an very good job of challenging advertisers to ensure they hold robust evidence to support their claims. I see homeopaths never can manage to pull that evidence together.

The issue is whether the

The issue is whether the claim can be substantiated or not and has nothing to do with whether you believe homeopaths are doing a caring job or not.

However, it is a moot point as to whether a therapy that has no good independent, robust, quality evidence should be available on the NHS.

"[I]t is a moot point as to

"[I]t is a moot point as to whether a therapy that has no good independent, robust, quality evidence should be available on the NHS".

This is from a 2007 BMJ Survey: Of around 2500 (medical) treatments reviewed, 13% were rated as beneficial, 23% likely to be beneficial, 8% as trade off between benefits and harms, 6% unlikely to be beneficial, 4% likely to be ineffective or harmful, and 46%, the largest proportion, as unknown effectiveness.

In other words, 56% of the medical treatments available on the NHS are either proven to be ineffective or harmful, or have no evidence base at all.

Given the choice between harmful and/or untested drugs with potentially harmful side effects, and a system of alternative medicine that is safe, non-invasive and has an extraordinarily high level of patient satisfaction (http://www.homeopathy-soh.org/research/evidence-base-for-homeopathy/obse...), it is not surprising that many patients choose homeopathy.

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