Press Release Source: Boiron Laboratories

Boiron Laboratories Disputes British Journal's Editorial on Homeopathy
Tuesday November 27, 7:46 pm ET


NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa., Nov. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- In its continued educational and research efforts for the advancement of homeopathy, Boiron Laboratories disputes an editorial comment published in The Lancet's Nov. 17, 2007 issue on the basis that its author has misinterpreted results of clinical trials on homeopathic medicines. (1-5)

The British medical journal features an editorial by Ben Goldacre on the "Benefits and Risks of Homeopathy." In his commentary, Goldacre suggests that the results from five large meta-analyses indicate that homeopathy produces no statistically significant benefit over placebo.

However, a thorough review of the studies' research evidence indicates positive principle conclusions in favor of homeopathy over placebo as quoted as follows:


    1.  The Kleijnen, et al(1) study states that "the evidence of clinical
        trials is positive but not sufficient to draw any definite
    2.  The Boissel, et al(2) study reports that "[f]or 17 retained
        comparisons, for each method used, the result is a p-value well below
        .0001. This means that in at least one test, the null hypothesis (lack
        of effect of homeopathy) must be rejected. ...  The number of
        significant results is not likely due to chance alone."
    3.  The Linde, et al(3) study concludes that "[t]he results of the
        available randomized trials suggest that individualized homeopathy has
        an effect over placebo."
    4.  The Cucherat, et al(4) study concludes that "[t]here is evidence that
        homeopathic treatments are more effective than placebo."
    5.  The Shang, et al(5) study indicates that "21 (19 percent) homeopathic
        trials and nine (8 percent) conventional medicine tests were of higher
        quality. Most odds ratios indicated a beneficial effect of the
        intervention. Heterogeneity of trial results was less pronounced for
        homeopathy ... than conventional medicine .... This difference is
        unlikely to be due to chance (p=0.011 by F test)."

Additionally, there is a sixth relevant meta-analysis(6) also published in The Lancet that supports positive results for homeopathy, but was not mentioned in Goldacre's commentary. The study authors concluded that "the results of our meta-analysis are not compatible with the hypothesis that the clinical effects of homeopathy are completely due to a placebo effect."

About Boiron: Boiron, world leader in homeopathy, is a $500 million public company with 3,800 employees in more than 60 countries. It produces more than 1,500 homeopathic medicines. For over 70 years, Boiron has been committed to funding scientific research and educating the public and healthcare professionals on homeopathic medicines. Boiron maintains the highest manufacturing standards, complying with U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations, the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States and drug Good Manufacturing Practices.


    1. Kleijnen J, Knipschild P, ter Riet G. Clinical trials of homeopathy.
       BMJ 1991; 302: 316-23.
    2. Boissel JP, Cucherat M, Haugh M, Gauthier E. Critical literature review
       on the effectiveness of homoeopathy: overview of data from homeopathic
       medicine trials. Brussels, Belgium: Homoeopathic Medicine Research
       Group. Report to the European Commission. 1996; 195-210.
    3. Linde K, Melchart D. Randomized controlled trials of individualized
       homeopathy: a state-of-the-art review. J Alter Complement Med 1998;
       4: 371-88.
    4. Cucherat M, Haugh MC, Gooch M, Boissel JP. Evidence of clinical
       efficacy of homeopathy: a meta-analysis of clinical trials. Eur JClin
       Pharmacol 2000; 56: 27-33.
    5. Shang A, Huwiler-Muntener K, Nartey L, et al. Are the clinical effects
       of homeopathy placebo effects? Comparative study of placebo-controlled
       trials of homeopathy and allopathy. The Lancet 2005; 366: 726-32.
    6. Linde K, Clausius N, Ramirez H, et al. Are the clinical effects of
       homeopathy placebo effects? A meta-analysis of placebo-controlled
       trials. The Lancet 1997; 350: 834-43.

Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click
appropriate link.
Ronald Boyer, M.D.
Christophe Merville