Each year, more than 50,000 people in Germany develop infections with multidrug-resistant bacteria. About 2,400 die from it, according to the Robert Koch Institute – and the trend is growing. Therefore, in Bavaria, a coalition of CSUs and free voters is likely to decide on a five-part package of measures in plenary this week.
Objective: "Avoid death by multi-species resistant bacteria". Measures: Bottlenecks in antibiotic production, environmental standards in the production of medicines that are kept and in food production – for example in aquaculture – antibiotics should be used as rarely as possible. But further the litigation begins.
Homeopathy as a Possible Alternative to Antibiotics?
The fourth part of this package also refers to homeopathy. The main point is to launch a study examining how to get rid of less antibiotics. The possible "positive role of homeopathic supplements supplemented if necessary" should be examined to reduce or partially replace antibiotic use.
The rationale states that, according to a study published earlier, additional homeopathic treatment may be "beneficial" to people who are severely ill with blood poisoning. The petition also suggests that homeopathic treatment may partially replace or reduce antibiotics and may be "beneficial in some cases".
Ministry of Health: Homeopathy as a supplement
The Bavarian Ministry of Health considers the "examination of the use of homeopathic remedies as a substitute for antibiotic therapy" critical. Studies on homeopathic therapies for bacterial infectious diseases have been systematically observed, including "Cochrane Collaboration," a worldwide network of doctors and scientists: "Results provide no reliable evidence of efficacy beyond known positive placebo effects of rituals, Talk and attention," a ministry spokeswoman said on request BR24.
Homeopathy is not perceived by the ministry as an alternative to antibiotics. Instead, it plays a supporting role with the aim of strengthening the body's self-healing powers. In a study on how to reduce antibiotic use, for example, the “complementary dose” of homeopathic remedies for chronic or recurrent infections can be explored.
Clinical trials using highly effective antibiotics or, alternatively, homeopathic remedies for serious bacterial infectious diseases such as sepsis, depending on the case group, would be prohibited on an ethical basis.
Seidenath (CSU): An objective polemical debate
Homeopathy is a topic of controversy that is waged through many social debates. Bernhard Seidenath (CSU), chairman of the state health committee, is aware of the criticism of homeopathy. Still, it is behind the required study. "We also want to make the debate more objective," Seidenath says, "we want to bring light into the dark."
The CSU politician points out that this is not a study on homeopathy, but rather a study on how antibiotic use can be reduced to eventually prevent death from as many drug resistant bacteria as possible.
According to Seidenath, the effects of homeopathy, even if small, cannot be easily dismissed. Given the major problems posed by antibiotic resistance and multidrug-resistant germs, "it is now necessary to set a course and test all straws and nails in an emergency."
The Greens also voted on the proposal committee
In the Health Committee, the Greens also voted in favor. The group's health spokeswoman, Christina Haubrich, justified the move by saying that antibiotic alternatives could help with some clinical imaging, such as antibiotic allergy, pregnancy, or children.
Particularly in cases where a prescription for antibiotics can be avoided or antibiotics have already failed, new therapies should be sought, tested and evaluated: "Unfortunately, there are still too few scientifically based studies up to current standards in this field," explains Haubrich.
The SPD considers the study redundant
Deputy Chairman of the Health Committee Ruth Waldmann (SPD) voted against the recommendation of the decision. For them, the benefits of homeopathy are solely in the "talking drug", to which patients would have positive effects by talking and attention.
"All scientific studies to date have shown that the efficacy of homeopathic remedies cannot be proven, so it is highly questionable why taxpayers should now order a study by the state government." Ruth Waldmann, spokeswoman for the SPD parliamentary group on health policy
In the context of serious illness, the use of homeopathic remedies could not be an alternative if antibiotics were indeed indicated.
"Network Homeopathy" sends an open letter to members of parliament
As it became known, the homeopathically critical Homeopathy Information Network sent an open letter to lawmakers Monday night. The bottom line: Instead of launching further studies on homeopathy, MEPs should work to reduce prescriptions for antibiotics. A package of measures is up for debate in the state parliament on Thursday (November 7th). The appointment can also be moved to Tuesday (November 12th).