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Friday, 26 August 2005 11:50
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
Study dismisses homeopathy
A study published in The Lancet medical journal has dismissed homeopathy as “no better than dummy drugs” and called on doctors to be more honest with patients about the “lack of benefits” provides by alternative medicines.

The call comes after a review by Swiss and UK scientists of 110 trials found no evidence that homeopathy is any more effective than placebos.

Professor Matthais Egger, from the University of Berne, and a UK team from the University of Bristol compared 110 trials of homeopathy drugs with 110 trials of their conventional counterparts but were unable to establish that homeopathic remedies were effective above and beyond the placebo effect.

Professor Egger said: "We acknowledge to prove a negative is impossible.

"But good large studies of homeopathy do not show a difference between the placebo and the homeopathic remedy, whereas in the case of conventional medicines you still see an effect."

However, The Lancet also includes a draft report by the World Health Organisation that claims the majority of peer reviewed papers published in the last 40 years have shown that homeopathy is more effective than dummy pills in placebo-controlled trials.

And a spokeswoman for the Society of Homeopaths said on the BBC News website: "Many previous studies have demonstrated that homeopathy has an effect over and above placebo.

"It has been established beyond doubt and accepted by many researchers, that the placebo-controlled randomised controlled trial is not a fitting research tool with which to test homeopathy."


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