In the wake of the latest in a series of evidence-based reviews that all agree homeopathy has no clinical value beyond placebo and causes more harm than it is worth (e.g. 1, 2), and in the context of the overwhelming evidence behind this conclusion, the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has taken a strong, principled stand against the use of homeopathy by physicians and pharmacists and against the waste of healthcare insurance resources on this useless treatment:
The RACGP supports the use of evidence-based medicine, in which current research information is used as the basis for clinical decision-making.
In light of strong evidence to confirm that homeopathy has no effect beyond that of placebo as a treatment for various clinical conditions, the position of the RACGP is:
1. Medical practitioners should not practice homeopathy, refer patients to homeopathic practitioners, or recommend homeopathic products to their patients.
2. Pharmacists should not sell, recommend, or support the use of homeopathic products.
3. Homeopathic alternatives should not be used in place of conventional immunisation.
4. Private health insurers should not supply rebates for or otherwise support homeopathic services or products.
In doing so, the RACGP has joined many other groups of healthcare workers, scientists, and public health officials in condemning this deceptive and worthless practice. A number of veterinary groups have taken similar positions, 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.
However, many other organizations of veterinarians have refused to take a position on this issue, even when the opportunity arose with the introduction of a resolution in the AVMA House of Delegates to acknowledge homeopathy is ineffective. This refusal to accept the overwhelming evidence concerning perhaps the most egregiously unscientific of alternative therapies and to take a public position that defends our patients and clients from pseudoscience is regrettable and diminishes the integrity of our profession. While it would be ideal for the AVMA to be in the vanguard of protecting our patients and their owners, I hope that eventually ethics and science will triumph over politics and self-interest and they will join the growing chorus of reason.