Re: Homeopathic Research

Press release - 11.23.07
The Lancet (*) : Meta-analyses of Homeopathic Medicines

Contrary to what The Lancet claims, the 6 meta-analyses
published to date all lead positivelyto the conclusion that
homeopathic treatment is effective.


1) What The Lancet says:

"Five large meta-analyses of homeopathy trials have been done. All
have the same result: after excluding methodologically inadequate
trials and accounting for publication bias, homeopathy produced no
statistically significant benefit over placebo."

2) The reality:

* The main conclusions of these five meta-analyses were all positive:

- Kleijnen J, Knipschild P, ter Riet G. Clinical trials of
BMJ 1991; 302: 316-23 :
"The evidence of clinical trials is positive but not sufficient to
draw definitive conclusions"

- Boissel JP, Cucherat M, Haugh M, Gauthier E. Critical literature
review on the effectiveness of homoeopathy: overview of data from
homoeopathic medicine trials. Brussels, Belgium: Homoeopathic Medicine
Research Group.
Report to the European Commission. 1996: 195-210 : "For the 17
eligible comparisons, for each method used, the result is a p-value
far below 0.001. This means that, in at least one trial, the null
hypothesis of the absence of effect of homeopathy can be rejected...the
number of significant results is probably not due to chance alone."

- Linde K, Melchart D. Randomized controlled trials of individualized
homeopathy: a state-of-the-art review.
J Alter Complement Med 1998;4: 371-88 : "The results of the available
randomized trials suggest that individualized homeopathy has an effect
over placebo"

- Cucherat M, Haugh MC, Gooch M, Boissel JP. Evidence of clinical
efficacy of homeopathy: a meta-analysis of clinical trials.
Eur J Clin Pharmacol 2000; 56: 27-33 : "There is some evidence that
homeopathic treatments are more effective than placebo"

- Shang A, Huwiler-Müntener K, Nartey L, et al. Are the clinical
effects ofhomoeopathy placebo effects? Comparative study of placebo-
controlledtrials of homoeopathy and allopathy.
Lancet 2005; 366: 726-32 : "21 homeopathy trials (19%) and nine (8%)
conventional-medicine trials were of higher quality. In both groups,
smaller trials and those of lower quality showed more beneficial
treatment effects than larger and higher-quality trials. When the
analysis was restricted to large trials of higher quality, the odds
ratio was 0.88 (95% CI 0.65-1.19) for homeopathy (eight trials) and
0.58 (0.39-0.85) for conventional medecine (six trials)."

* A sixth major meta-analysis also exists, that curiously was not
mentioned in this article even though it was published by The Lancet
in 1997, and which also reported positive results:

"The results of our meta-analysis are not compatible with the
hypothesis that clinical effects of homeopathy are completely due to
Linde K, Clausius N, Ramirez G, et al. Are the clinical effects of
homoeopathy placebo effects? A meta-analysis of placebo-controlled
trials. Lancet 1997; 350: 834-43

* (The Lancet / 17 nov 2007 / vol 370 / pages 1 672 to 1 673 ; pages 1
677 to 1 680)
The information on this site was up dated on : 11/02/2008

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