When I reviewed the case against homeopathy as part of the debate over the AVMA resolution to acknowledge it as a placebo therapy, there were many previous reviews to refer to. In addition to the numerous systematic reviews of the scientific literature, the UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee had recently conducted an extensive review and hearings and concluded:
In our view, the systematic reviews and meta-analyses conclusively demonstrate that homeopathic products perform no better than placebos. We could find no support from independent experts for the idea that there is good evidence for the efficacy of homeopathy.
Many other organizations have, upon reviewing the evidence, come to the same conclusion, including:
The BVA cannot endorse the use of homeopathic medicines, or indeed any medicine making therapeutic claims, which have no proven efficacy.
That the Board agreed that the veterinary therapies of homeopathy and homotoxicology are considered ineffective therapies in accordance with the AVA promotion of ineffective therapies Board resolution.
And even the AVMA Council on Research-
There is no clinical evidence to support the use of homeopathic remedies for treatment or prevention of diseases in domestic animals.
A new, comprehensive review similar to that of the House of Commons committee, complete with input from homeopaths, has just been complete and submitted for public comment by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, comes once again to the only rational, evidence-based conclusion:
NHMRC concludes that the assessment of the evidence from research in humans does not show that homeopathy is effective for treating the range of health conditions considered.
The organization reviewed the scientific literature, including evidence specifically submitted by homeopaths in defense of their claims. I have reviewed such evidence before and found it not reliable or supportive of these claims, and the NHMRC review aggress:
There were no health conditions for which there was reliable evidence that homeopathy was effective. No good-quality, well-designed studies with enough participants for a meaningful result reported either that homeopathy caused greater health improvements than a substance with no effect on the health condition (placebo), or that homeopathy caused health improvements equal to those of another treatment.
**For some health conditions, homeopathy was found to be not more effective than placebo.
**For other health conditions, some studies reported that homeopathy was more effective than placebo, or as effective as another treatment, but those studies were not reliable.
**For the remaining health conditions it was not possible to make any conclusion about whether homeopathy was effective or not, because there was not enough evidence.
The review discusses the evidence examined and the procedures used to evaluate it in detail. All of the procedures were vetted by the Australian Cochrane Centre and correspond to the standard practices of evidence-based medicine applied to conventional therapies. The conclusion was clear:
Based on all the evidence considered, there were no health conditions for which there was reliable evidence that homeopathy was effective. No good-quality, well-designed studies with enough participants for a meaningful result reported either that homeopathy caused greater health improvements than placebo, or caused health improvements equal to those of another treatment.
The evidence, and independent systematic review of the evidence concerning homeopathy is unequivocal. Homeopathy is no better than a placebo. Failure to accept this conclusion does not represent a scientific controversy but a fundamentally religious faith in homeopathy that is not capable of being altered by any evidence.