Two researchers are debating over the recommendation of Homeopathic medicines as one favours its usage and the other has totally contradicted views.
Peter Fisher of the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine claimed that of all the major forms of complementary medicine, homeopathy was the most misunderstood.
He questioned the methods used to review the evidence for homeopathy and argued that the fact that one homeopathic treatment for a condition was ineffective didn’t mean that another was ineffective as well.
Fisher added that most overviews have had more favourable conclusions as well, including a Health Technology Assessment commissioned by the Swiss federal government which concluded that homeopathy is probably effective for upper respiratory tract infections and allergies and several meta analyses of homeopathy as a whole and for specific conditions have been positive.
He concludes that doctors should put aside bias based on the alleged implausibility of homeopathy as when integrated with standard care homeopathy is safe, popular with patients, improves clinical outcomes without increasing costs and reduces the use of potentially hazardous drugs, including antimicrobials.
Contradicting to his point, Edzard Ernst of the University of Exeter said that most independent systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials have failed to show that homeopathy was effective and reviews with positive conclusions usually have serious methodological flaws.
He also argued that homeopathy could harm if it replaced an effective therapy and adding that he knew of several deaths that had occurred in this unnecessary way.
Ernst concluded that the axioms of homeopathy were implausible as its benefits did not outweigh its risks and its costs and opportunity costs were considerable.
The debate is published in the journal BMJ.