On October 24, the critical MedWatch portal reported that the Bavarian diet received a proposal from CSU and free-voter groups seeking research into alternative methods of medicine, "especially homeopathy," to reduce and avoid antibiotic use. The Landtag Board of Health has already recommended that the diet decide.
Simply put, the fun really stops here. It is well known that homeopathy is repeatedly promoted and used as an alternative to antibiotics. This is worryingly widespread, especially in livestock (and promoted by the EU Veterinary Medicines Regulation). About a year ago, there was even an attempt to raise funds for such "homeopathic research" through a crowdfunding platform, which fortunately got stuck in the approach. Well, in the meantime, we're still on the move: from livestock to human medicine, from crowdfunding to relatively modest measures to spending tax-financed public funds.
That, of course, cannot be left undeniable. In the expectation that the technical arguments in this matter still had a chance, Homeopathy Information Network (INH) sent all open letters (mail-accessible) to Bavarian members of parliament:
Application "Avoiding Deaths from Multidrug-Resistant Bacteria IV – Research on Reduced Antibiotic Use"
Dear ladies and gentlemen,
In the above proposal, CSU and Free Voters members propose to investigate whether the use of alternative medicine, especially homeopathy, could reduce antibiotic use.
This is to reassure you that your application should be rejected because this investigation does not make sense given the existing evidence and is a waste of tax revenue.
We share the view that the issue of antimicrobial resistance requires urgent attention and, indeed, the willingness of the public sector to engage with it financially. However, it seems to us that access to the application mentioned above is less convenient. We believe that the reasons for this assessment need to be explained below.
In support of:
Efforts to reduce antibiotic use are a useful and necessary project to prevent the spread of multi-drug resistant bacteria and thus protect citizens' health. The World Health Organization (WHO) and its sub-organizations have been involved in awareness campaigns for a long time. from 18 to 24.11.2019, World "World Antibiotic Awareness Week". Scientific recommendations for reducing antibiotics have been widely reported. But: By contrast, the use of alternative medical therapies, especially homeopathy, is by no means.
If the decision on therapy is pending, only two cases may arise:
(1) There is a bacterial infection and antibiotic administration is indicated: then the use of pseudo-medical procedures that cannot be effective beyond the placebo effect would be detrimental to the patient.
(2) No bacterial infection, then no antibiotics indicated. The only proper consequence is not to prescribe antibiotics, not even as a preventative measure. The same applies to harmless, self-limiting infections where the use of homeopathy also has no real advantage.
The cause of bacterial infectious diseases is the bacteria that control the body's defense system. This becomes critical if this defense is insufficient to contain or destroy pathogens. In this case, antibiotic treatment is required to kill the bacteria.
Because the application is very focused on homeopathy and does not mention other treatment options, we focus on this form of therapy.
Basically, it should be kept in mind that infectious diseases were the number one killer before the discovery of modern antibiotics. They were the cause of the then low life expectancy, especially because of the high infant mortality. Penicillin was first discovered in 1928, but it wasn't until after World War II that antibiotics became more widespread in everyday medicine, and only then did mortality from infection drop significantly. It is obvious that homeopathy, which has been widespread since the early 19th century, could not help address this problem. The question arises as to what would develop in homeopathic learning if they were to offer better conditions today, after all, the teachings of founder Samuel Hahnemann were then and now recognized in the principles of homeopathy therapy.
Homeopathy is the concept of late 18th-century therapy, on which the advancement of medical knowledge has largely gone unnoticed. "Vitality denial" and "miasma" are the basis of their doctrine of disease, which, despite the fundamental advances in medical knowledge achieved since the second half of the nineteenth century, has remained unchanged and has long since become obsolete in science. Germs – viruses, bacteria, even parasites – are alien to the homeopathic concept and remain so after the development of infectious bases.
In the concept of homeopathic therapy, the healing power of the spirit, produced by dilution and shaking, the proper remedy for the treatment of any disease, is sufficient to restore the balance of the collapsed life force. The better it works, the more active the ingredient is diluted from the preparation by potentiation, and the more often pure water is eventually diluted with pure water. Only miasmi, the so-called Urübel, which can also be inherited from ancestors, are contrary to homeopathic learning about chronic diseases of successful therapy. Hormones, vitamins, enzymes, etc. don't matter. Even simple diagnostic procedures, such as measurements of body temperature, pulse, or blood pressure, found no expression in the appropriate repertoires according to which the appropriate remedies were identified in classical homeopathy.
Contrary to the application data, despite many clinical studies, it has never been possible to convincingly demonstrate the effectiveness of homeopathy in any clinical picture, let alone in infectious diseases. So far, all systematic reviews have revealed this, which briefly evaluated the available individual studies. There may be individual studies that seem to have had a positive impact, but evaluating the quality of each study regularly reveals that their study design was inappropriate or that the researchers involved were wrong. All eleven reviews, including four conducted as part of a project by the English Institute for Homeopathy Research, concluded that today's findings do not suggest that homeopathy could be effective beyond the placebo effect. Many international scientific associations (such as the European Academies of Sciences) and national corporations have made recommendations or conclusions, most recently in France, where from 2021 homeopathic remedies will no longer be covered by health insurance. There, the entire study study was re-evaluated at several levels – with a negative result.
The fact that despite intensive efforts, often with the participation of homeopaths, they have failed to find reliable evidence of the therapeutic efficacy of homeopathic remedies indicates that there are simply no alleged specific effects of the agents.
Unfortunately, applicants do not indicate which studies they refer to. Only the study of Frass et al. Is identified, which is the only one that investigates efficacy in treating patients with severe sepsis, a condition that has overcome or dies within days. However, the application did not specify how the addition of homeopathic supplements would improve the success of treatment in the intensive care unit. There was a significant difference after six months, when more patients in the placebo-treated control group died than those who actually received homeopathic remedies. However, Frass gives no indication of what patients died long after the sepsis was overcome. Accidents that could have occurred more frequently in the control group could also have occurred if patients there had not already died due to the poor health documented in the study. Frass's work, therefore, is also for reasons obviously to the medical layman, of no relevance to the action of homeopathic remedies for infectious diseases.
Studies available in the field of ENT are also unsuitable for demonstrating therapeutic efficacy in infections. Most studies of this type consider self-limiting infections (upper respiratory tract infections, otitis media, common colds) commonly caused by viruses for which antibiotics are ineffective. From the comparability of the results of homeopathy with ineffective antibiotics, it is then concluded that the mode of action of both therapies would be the same – which is true in these cases of mutual inefficiency – and this reasonably transfers the totality of indications in which antibiotics are to be used. However, from the usual lack of characteristics, one cannot conclude that there are similarities with other traits: A lion can fly as little as a seal – but to conclude that they could swim relatively well then is certainly wrong.
In conclusion, it should be emphasized that research in homeopathy offers little prospect of gaining scientific knowledge, given the lack of plausibility of the basics and content. Instead, affirmative research focuses less on the unforeseen pursuit of new knowledge, but merely seeks to find evidence to roughly build ideas, neglecting unwanted negative results. For example, the Munich Headache Study has shown impressively that even with the best of prerequisites, it is not possible to successfully treat headache with homeopathy. Here, even a group of placebo-treated peers achieved better results. As shown by the diverse data on the efficacy of individual homeopathic preparations, this result has not been taken into account beyond twenty years: headaches of every conceivable type remain the main field of application for most homeopathic remedies.
Despite relatively extensive research results, homeopathy offers no reason to believe that any disease can be successfully treated with a cure, and infectious diseases certainly do not. For these conclusions, the results of research are sufficient, not only for homeopathic therapy itself, but also for the basics of physiology and pharmacology, which make the foundations of homeopathy completely absurd.
The use of homeopathy in cases where antibiotics are indicated is dangerous; in all other cases, even in addition to antibiotic treatment, it is meaningless.
Therefore, there is no justification for using tax funds for further research unless the results already available are estimated and a gap appears where research results are missing and positive results are possible.
In our view, it would be much more effective to work on reducing antibiotic prescriptions, in line with the RESIST initiative of the Bavarian State Insurance Association in 2017. It should also be noted that the topic of antimicrobial resistance, its avoidance and future prospects worldwide are being explored in a coordinated WHO network – sponsored by the German Center for Infectious Diseases (DZFI).
We consider it urgent to consider the advice and explanations above in the advisory and decision making recommendations of the Health Committee.
For the Homeopathy Information Network
Dr. honey. Natalie Grams, Heidelberg
Dr.-Ing. Norbert Aust, Schopfheim
Dr. honey. Christian Lübbers, Weilheim
Prof. weapons. nat. Michael Bach, Gundelfingen
DDR. Ulrich Berger, Vienna / Austria
Dr. weapons. nat. Jochen Blom, casting
Dr. Andreas Breß, Tübingen
Prof. Phil. Peter Brugger, Zurich / Switzerland
Udo Endruscheit, Essen
Prof. Emeritus Edzard Ernst, Exeter / United Kingdom
Prof. Dittmar Graf, casting
B. Eng. Dirk Graefe, Munich
Dr. honey. Peter Grimm, rain
Dr. honey. Dr. H. C. Rudolf Happle, Freiburg
Dr. honey. Oliver Harney, Bietigheim-Bissingen
Prof. Wolfgang Hell
Prof. Dieter B. Herrmann, Berlin
Udo Hilwerling, Paderborn
Elke Hergenröther, Hollfeld
Prof. honey. Jutta Hübner, Jena
Dr. Holm Gero Hümmler, Bad Homburg
Dr. Michael Jachan, St. Pölten / Austria
Dr. weapons. nat. Franz Kass, Willich
APL. Dr. honey. Dr. honey. Habil. Dipl. Dogs. Christoph J. G. Lang, Heroldsbach
Dr. Philippe Leick, Gerlingen
Dr. Phil. Martin Mahner, Rossdorf
MD. William Masaryk, Gera
Dr. Theodor Much, Vienna / Austria
Dr. Nikil Mukerji, Munich
Dr. honey. Psychiatrist Claudia Nowack, Münster
Dipl. Fiz. Ute Parsch, Munich
Dipl. Fiz. Hans Pfeufer, Berlin
Kai Rabus, pharmacist, Berlin
Dr. Phil. Jan-Ole Reichardt, Munster
Rainer Roessler, Holste
Dr. Rainer Rosenzweig, Nuremberg
Holger von Rybinski, Munich
Prof. Norbert Schmacke, Bremen
Michael Scholz, Kronach
Dipl.-Pharm. Viola Stuppe, Munich
Dr. honey. Tilman Schwilk, Schramberg
Dr. honey. Wolfgang Vahle, Paderborn
Prof. Dr. Gerhard Vollmer, Freiburg
Dr. Rolf Wagels, Barsinghausen
Dr. Barbro Walker, Berlin
Dr. Habil. Rainer Wolf, Würzburg
Dipl. KFM. Christoph Zeitschel, Laatzen