What alternative health

practitioners might not tell you



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“In 2011 the Swiss government completed an official examination of homeopathy, as part of its consideration of whether or not insurance companies should be made to cover homeopathic treatment. Their report, which concluded homeopathy is effective and should be covered, was published in English in February 2012. Not surprisingly, homeopathy promoters, like Dana Ullman writing for the Huffington Post, were quick to proclaim the virtues of the Swiss report and tout it as evidence for the effectiveness of homeopathy. Recently, however, a more critical review of the Swiss report has been published, revealing the report to be biased and scientifically suspect…if you want to actually answer the question, does homeopathy work, you need to rely upon the most rigorously designed placebo-controlled trials. Anything less is likely to reflect bias and be highly misleading. Systematic reviews generally reflect this, and the UK report on homeopathy reflected this reality – when properly studied, homeopathy does not work…The Swiss study looked at the same data, but apparently wanted to come to a favorable conclusion. So they argued for a change in the normal rules of evidence, a common strategy among CAM proponents. They decided to rely more on “real-world effectiveness,” which is just CAM newspeak for “poorly controlled studies”…In other words, this is all an elaborate deception as a means of preferring low quality studies that are amenable to a positive bias to rigorous studies that are more likely to reflect the true (non-existent) effect of homeopathy. The Swiss report represents a biased review largely by homeopaths who changed the rules of evidence in order to declare that homeopathy works. Other homeopaths then present this review as unbiased and definitive. This is behavior that would make even the most unscrupulous pharmaceutical rep blush. This is also, unfortunately, not an isolated incident. This represents a general strategy apparent in the world of CAM – to present themselves as the experts so that they can pack panels with proponents and then advocate for changing the normal rules of scientific evidence in order to produce highly biased assessments of CAM. Further, they portray skeptics (meaning those who advocate for consistent and rigorous scientific methods) to be biased so that when they point out that the emperor has no clothes they can be dismissed. The Swiss report on homeopathy represents an embarrassing failure for the Swiss government. They should suspend any decisions based upon this report and put together an new scientific panel to perform a fresh and legitimate review of homeopathy. Or, they don’t have to reinvent the wheel – they can just review the UKs thorough and rigorous report and adopt its findings. Homeopathy is witchcraft and deserves no government support of any kind.” Steven Novella MD, Science Based Medicine (27th June 2012)