Pharmacies should ‘strip homeopathy from their shelves’, says Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Professor Jayne Lawrence FFRPS FRPharmS, Chief Scientist of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, is unlikely to be invited to dinner at Highgrove any time soon. Which is a shame, because Prof Lawrence is precisely the medical expert Prince Charles should consult before writing another of his spider memos lobbying on behalf of the crazy 19th-century cult of homeopathy.

If you click on the website of the Royal (yes, Royal) Pharmaceutical Society, you will find this article by Prof Lawrence, recommending that pharmacists ‘cast from their shelves’ the medically worthless sugar pills posing as medicine. (And also read Prof David Colquhoun’s magnificent Spectator Health post on the subject.) Some highlights:

What is the reason for the popularity of homeopathy now? After all, modern science does not support the scientific claims made by its supporters as to how homeopathy works. Indeed for homeopathy to work as claimed, we would have to completely revise our understanding of science. Any scientific evidence claiming to support homeopathy has either been shown to be flawed or not repeatable under controlled conditions. Furthermore, systematic reviews of modern clinical trials have supported the first early clinical trial showing that homeopathy has no more clinical effect than a placebo

As an evidence-based profession, why do we continue to sell homeopathic preparations in our pharmacies when the evidence shows that they do not work?The public have a right to expect pharmacists and other health professionals to be open and honest about the effectiveness and limitations of treatments. Surely it is now the time for pharmacists to cast homeopathy from the shelves and focus on scientifically based treatments backed by clear clinical evidence.

Over to you, Boots…

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  • JS

    -The herbarium De Materia Medica has not yet been entirely replaced with synthetic substitutes; name a popular proprietary medicine (applied topically or taken orally) each of which contains one of the following: valerian,rosemary,calendula, arnica,foxglove, willow aloe,fennel,feverfew,comfrey.
    Optional homeopathy is a mild restorative jump-start, prescribed in combination with other early intervention therapies-

    • BarondOrmesan

      Homeopathy is not the same as herbal medicine, so what is your point?

      • JS

        Samuel Hahnemann worked from the pharmacopeia Materia Medica, and as the medicines were initially tested on his own family, he used very dilute tinctures,which became standard practice.

        • BarondOrmesan

          For ‘very dilute ‘, read ‘non-existent’. Avogadro’s number applies.

  • Sandra Courtney

    My family has used homeopathy for over 29 years for a wide variety of conditions both from our knowledge of the remedies and under the care of our family homeopath. By doing so we have saved a great deal of money by avoiding surgery and potential hospitalizations.

    For example, a trip to the ER was avoided when my husband developed ptomaine food poisoning with onset of a sudden elevated fever, diarrhea and vomiting after eating a pork dish at a local restaurant. One of our pets, a female Samoyed, developed a cancerous growth on her left lower eyelid. The veterinarian suggested surgical removal, but instead homeopathic Silicea dried up the growth within weeks. A bee sting that would have otherwise caused an anaphylactic reaction in a neighbor who had a strong history of such a reaction, was safely and quickly avoided with a homeopathic remedy. A non-healing foot fracture of a family member was healed by the use of homeopathy, successfully avoiding surgery for placement of a surgical plate and screws. A young man who had come to do some landscaping work for us came with a severely swollen left cheek and in obvious agony. He said he had been “up all night” and nothing had alleviated his toothache. He was given a homeopathic remedy and within 20 minutes his pain was completely gone and the swelling of his left cheek had lessened dramatically. I advised him to see his dentist as soon as possible, which he did. The dentist was surprised that the young man was not in pain and there was only minimal swelling and redness.

    I could go on to mention other events over the years, however, there are too many to mention here. In summary, no other safe inexpensive means of meeting these physical challenges has worked so well for everyone in my family. Dare I say that I have a strong suspicion that those against the selling of homeopathic remedies are not well versed in the proper use of homeopathy and most likely have never been treated. Their opinions with regard to its use and cost effectiveness surely cannot be based on facts, can it? It should be.

    • JB

      Annecdotes mean nothing. They could all be made up for all we know. I’m not accusing you of something like that but there are so many different factors to consider.

      The world of physics, chemistry and biology states that the effects that homeopathy has and it’s methods of action are essentially fantasy and impossible. Without details, we cannot determine exact reasons but the most common problem is confirmation bias and post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacies.

    • Peter Lindholm

      I am sure you realise that by making such a statement, you’re advertising to the world your inability to have asked yourself, for each of these anecdotes, “would it have happened anyway?”

      If you’re honest, then you’re constrained to admit that the answer to that question in each instance is either “probably,” or “I simply couldn’t say.”

  • Jolyon Wagg

    I think the medical profession show arrogance beyond belief when they ‘diss’ homeopathy. What they are saying is that ‘because it is outside their sphere of comprehension’ it cant possibly be true. What I would prefer them to say is that they dont understand the science behind it. I also don’t get why they get so hung up about not knowing about it – there are loads of things about the body they don’t understand, so why do they get so agitato about this subject.

    I got into it about 15 years ago when my brother in law, started to practice it and since then, he has delivered 5 out of 6 remedies to me, which sorted me out much quicker and simpler, than traditional pharmaceuticals.

    They also give the remedies to babies and animals, with considerable success – don’t tell me they can succumb to placebo effects.

    • kyalami

      “What they are saying is that ‘because it is outside their sphere of comprehension’ it cant possibly be true.” No, what they are saying is that, having tested it they have found it has no beneficial effects beyond the placebo one.

      “he has delivered 5 out of 6 remedies to me, which sorted me out much quicker and simpler, than traditional pharmaceuticals.” And here is the essence of the problem: how do you know that pharmaceutical drugs would not have done better? You can’t. So much “evidence” in support of homeopathic stuff is similarly anecdotal.

      If you want homeopathy to be accepted by the scientific community, then you need to do scientific tests (e.g. double blind tests) that show it works.

  • συκοφάντης

    Boots Homeopathy, hahaha. What next, a MacDonalads veggie burger?