Australian GPs Take a Stand Against homeopathy

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 British Veterinary Association:

The BVA cannot endorse the use of homeopathic medicines, or indeed any medicine making therapeutic claims, which have no proven efficacy.

The Australian Veterinary Association:

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.

The Evidence-based Veterinary Medicine Association

The American College of Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology

The American Academy of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics

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.


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4 Responses to Australian GPs Take a Stand Against homeopathy

  1. Mark Hanna says:

    The New Zealand Veterinary Association has a similar stance on homeopathy, as described in section 1f of their policies:

    “Appendix: Homeopathy
    The theoretical foundations proposed for homeopathy have not been substantiated and are inconsistent with established scientific knowledge. A dramatically new understanding of physics, chemistry and biology which overturns the very foundation of modern biomedical science would be necessary for these proposed mechanisms to be valid.

    A growing number of veterinary, human healthcare and government organisations are acknowledging that existing scientific evidence strongly supports the conclusion that homeopathy has no effect beyond placebo.

    Since it is unethical to offer ineffective therapies to clients, and dangerous to substitute a placebo therapy for truly effective medicine, there is a movement towards publically acknowledging that there is no reason to believe homeopathic treatment has any real value in preventing or treating disease.

    NZVA does not endorse the use of homeopathic medicines, or any medicine, making therapeutic claims, which have no proven efficacy.

    NZVA believes that all veterinary medicine, including complementary and alternative veterinary medicine, should be held to the same standards. Claims for safety and effectiveness ultimately should be proven by the scientific method. NZVA encourages further scientific research to establish the efficacy or otherwise of homeopathic treatments.”

  2. skeptvet says:

    Excellent, thanks for sharing that!

  3. art malernee Dvm says:

    NZVA does not endorse the use of homeopathic medicines, or any medicine, making therapeutic claims, which have no proven efficacy.>>>
    Mark, Do the pet vaccine bottles in New Zealand still carry a give every year label? If so is there any revaccination endorsement by the NZVA beyond just fully immunizing pets ?

  4. Art Malernee says:

    “now advocates for the administration of core vaccinations triennially in line with World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) “>>>

    Looks like revaccination of fully immunized pets is an exception to the non endorsement policy of a medicine making therapeutic claims which have no proven efficacy.

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