Naturopathy and Homeopathy Update

New Concerns Raised about Naturopath Prescribing

A large coalition of seven Canadian allergy organizations recently wrote to the British Columbia Minister of Health, George Abbott, protesting the plan to allow naturopaths to perform allergy testing and treatment. See their letter here. (PDF)  They make important comments about the serious potential impact on individual health as well as public health issues related to giving non-science-based individuals an expanded role in health care. Two of the most important are:

  • “Unproven (e.g. electrodermal vega) and inappropriate (e.g. specific IgG to foods) testing methods are presently being carried out by Naturopaths for the diagnosis of food allergy. The use of such methods at the same time as food challenge testing can result in confusion and a diagnosis that is not evidence based. “ Vega testing is non-science based and completely bogus.  It is apparently banned in Canada, but that does not stop naturopaths from openly advertising the testing.
  • “Naturopaths’ lack of support for immunizations may extend to inappropriate beliefs that children are “allergic” to immunizations or components of their material. This has the potential to decrease herd or community immunity and increase the risk for epidemic disease. “ Kudos to the coalition for pointing out that naturopaths have been reported as being anti-vaccination – a point already acknowledged by the BC government!.

Why should pharmacists care about naturopaths, and naturopath prescribing? Because as a science-based profession, pharmacists need to speak up for the rational use of medications.

Homeopathy Awareness Week

While HAW has already passed, Dr. Steven Novella wrote an excellent article on homeopathy: its unsupported premise, its lack of efficacy, and why this elaborate placebo system seems to persist. Unfortunatly, pharmacies are a big part of problem when it comes to homeopathy. As I’ve pointed out before, pharmacists that endorse homeopathy are one of the biggest obstacles to keeping pharmacy a science-based profession.

Plus, if you didn’t already see this, here’s what might happen in a homeopathic emerg (CAN) /E.R. (USA) /A&E (UK):

5 thoughts on “Naturopathy and Homeopathy Update

  1. Couldn’t be that big pharma & the ama are losing a bit of money, could it? Also, when the drug funded studies are done & say stuff like some particular vitamin didn’t work in their study, have read that they may use synthetic, low quality, plus LOW doses that wouldn’t be used otherwise, by a person. This tells me that it’s ALL about the money. I will continue to use Homeopathy & not use synthetic drugs with their side effects that can kill. I check out any natural supplement’s effects befor using & use the researched amount for that problem. Still a non-believer in drugs that just make the drug co’s richer.

  2. The problem with homeopathy is that it doesn’t work. But rather than address this fundamental issue, advocates like to trot out conspiracy theories about how Big Pharma is out to suppress homeopathy. (And what does the AMA care? It’s an advocacy group for physicians.) If you have some evidence to support this vast conspiracy, please bring it forward. Or call the New York Times. I’m sure they’d be thrilled to see your evidence.

    Don’t forget that with homeopathy you’re just making “Big Homeo” rich. Boiron is one of the world’s largest homeopathic manufacturers. Last year their sales were 467 million euros – comparable to a drug company. Impressive sales for a company that makes a product with no raw materials and no research and development costs. You’d think that with sales of almost half a billion euros, they could put a few million to actually test what they claim: that homeopathy works. (((crickets chirping))) We’re still waiting. Anyone? Anyone?


  3. Pingback: The University of Toronto Embraces Autism Quackery « Science-Based Pharmacy

  4. Pingback: Keep Ontario Prescribing Based In Reality: Your Support Needed « Science-Based Pharmacy

  5. Pingback: Still Time for Comment on Bill 179 « Science-Based Pharmacy

Comments are closed.