Benefits and risks of Homoeopathy: Rejoinder to Lancet article

Prof. Chaturbhuja Nayak
Former  Director,   Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy
New Delhi, INDIA

 The    Lancet    has   recently   published    a   comment      entitled  “Benefits     and   risks   of      homoeopathy”  . The commentator Ben Goldacre has denigrated Homoeopathy by citing the results of five studies      which have not produced statistically significant benefit over    placebo. But, he has taken a partial view of the results of some of the studies, referred by   him,  where  the     authors  have  not    totally  branded  homoeopathy   as  placebo  response.

Rather    the  authors   have   admitted    that  there  was   some evidence   that  homoeopathic treatments are more effective than placebo, that the evidence of clinical trials is positive.

However, they have suggested to undertake further high quality studies to confirm these  results. While many high  quality trials with proven efficacy of homoeopathy have been   done, Ben Goldacre has cherry-picked five only to suit his own conclusions.

Goldacre has rightly cited that during the Cholera epidemic in the 19th century, death rate  at  London     Homoeopathic  Hospital    was   three  times   lower   than   those   at  Middlesex   hospital. While admitting that the then contemporary treatments were harmful, he is not   ready  to  accept  the  credibility  of  London  Homoeopathic  Hospital, where  the  mortality  rate was three times less than  an  allopathic hospital. On the other hand, he j okes, “the  homoeopathic       treatments    were   at  least  inert”.  How     could   the  inert  homoeopathic medicines result in 3 times less mortality than the conventional medicine?

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1 Comment

  1. Prof.Nayak’s rejoinder is befitting to the article published in The Lancet, Volume 370, Issue 9600, Pages 1672 – 1673, 17 November 2007. His efforts to keep homoeopathy on the scientific pedestal deserves accolades.Long live the scientific spirit of Prof.Nayak and the younger generation has to follow his footsteps.

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