American Association of Homeopathic Pharmacists
4332 S.E. Logus Road
Milwaukie, OR 97222
Eric L. Foxman, Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Reading Between the Lines
The negative bias of unfavorable reports on homeopathic medicine was exposed by Eric L. Foxman, R.Ph. in a spirited presentation, The Scientific Basis of Homeopathy, given to attendees of the National Nutritional Foods Association annual show. Although numerous studies show measurable benefits of homeopathy, there are other reports which appear to be intended to discredit this 200 year old system of therapeutics. The underlying negative prejudice of these reports is often well hidden but can easily be seen when the real data is examined. Foxman, Secretary of the American Association of Homeopathic Pharmacists (A.A.H.P.) explained, “Any preconceived conclusion can be proven by choosing the right multifaceted statistical analysis.”
The focus of the speech was a Swiss study which purported to show that alternative medicine has no beneficial effect on overall health and, in fact, forces medical costs to rise. In his presentation, Foxman exposed the flaws of the research design, the inappropriate analytical methods, poor randomization and inadequate division into study and control groups, as well as the unsuccessful basis for comparison between the groups. As other reviewers also concluded, these problems are indicative of apparent prejudice by the study authors. “It may be that homeopathy’s growth in sales and acceptance among some medical professionals causes others, with little understanding of this mode of therapy, to seek to discredit or slow its growth,” noted Robert S. Bell, a Board Member of the A.A.H.P..
The seminar was part of the National Nutritional Foods Association’s educational program at the annual convention in Las Vegas. Seminar participants were surprised to learn of the study’s conclusions which were so contrary to their own expectations of positive benefits and lowered costs from the use of complementary medicine. Foxman urged the participants to “Exercise a healthy dose of skepticism when reading scientific reports which violate your inherent sense of the truth. A little digging will reveal exactly where the discrepancies lie.”
Foxman is secretary of the A.A.H.P. One of the association’s goals is to increase the visibility and acceptance of homeopathic medicine. “These kinds of negative studies do nothing to educate consumers and health professionals about the real value of homeopathy. They are a disservice to everyone concerned, even the study sponsors,” says Foxman.
“If a well designed and executed study finds a ‘statistically significant’ association, this does not mean that the study has shown a cause and effect relationship,” pointed out Foxman. “Unfortunately, in the haste to say something negative about homeopathy, such false conclusions are disseminated as scientific truths, when in fact they are nothing more than wishful thinking.”
The particular study chosen for review was sponsored by a large Swiss insurance company looking at the economic effect of providing benefits for complementary medicine. The overall report and abstract were very negative, though a careful review of the facts by three independent organizations shows a very different interpretation. The review has lead to the Swiss publication of a new booklet entitled: Natural Healing Saves Costs and Improves Health. “This may explain why homeopathy continues to gain acceptance and use around the world,” adds Mr. Bell.
The American Association of Homeopathic Pharmacists provides educational material for health professionals and consumers regarding homeopathic medicine. For a free list of well founded scientific references on Homeopathy or the association’s educational materials, contact the A.A.H.P. message center by phone or fax at 1-503-654-1204.