Research Shows Homeopathy Is Cost Effective
HOMOEOPATHY PROVIDES COST EFFECTIVE HEALTH CARE
wins in test with medicine
By Robert Matthews
has been proved more successful and cost-effective than conventional
medicine in the first comparison of the two approaches.
Proof of its effectiveness has emerged from an extensive study of its use in treating chronic disorders such as back pain. The study ignored the question of how homeopathy might work and focused on how well it performs.
Researchers in Germany recruited more than 400 adults and children with long-term health problems ranging from sinusitis to insomnia and depression. Half were treated using conventional therapy; the other half were treated homeopathically. After six months, the condition of the patients treated homeopathically had improved significantly more, and more quickly, than the others while the cost for each was similar.
While the patients treated homeopathically had improved to such an extent that they no longer felt the need to continue taking medicine, those treated with conventional medicine only enjoyed improvement for as long as they continued taking the medicine.
The Origins and Science of Homeopathy
Read the reworked article, originally published in UPDATE the most popular Medical Journal in South Africa, Homoeopathy in Perspective
by Dr. Johan P. Prinsloo
New research shows homeopathy is cost effective
Three research papers presented at the conference, 'Bridging the Credibility Gap' organised by The Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital, on 3-4 April 2003, concluded that better medical results can be obtained with homeopathic medicine, for no greater cost than conventional medicine.
Three major research papers presented at the conference from different European research teams, demonstrated that homeopathy is cost-effective:
Gilles Chaufferin of the Boiron Institute, based in Lyon, France, compared the results achieved by homeopathic and non-homeopathic GPs in 500 young children with recurrent colds. He concludes that homeopathy produced better results in terms of medical effectiveness, quality of life, and the number of days parents had to take off work to care for their children, for the same cost.
Claudia Becker-Witt of Humboldt University, Berlin, also compared the results achieved by conventional and homeopathic GPs in 500 adults and children with a range of chronic diseases and reached a similar conclusion - homeopathy produced generally better results, especially in children, for the same cost.
Corina Guthlin of the University of Freiburg, Germany, studied people whose health insurance company offered the option of homeopathy and acupuncture. They studied all 750 patients who opted for homeopathy, concluding that adding homeopathy was associated with significant improvements, particularly in quality of life.
American Medical Journal Published Research on the Cost-effectiveness of Homeopathic Treatment
A 1996 study of 130,000 prescriptions confirmed the results of the 1991 French government report (see below) and suggested significant benefits and savings as a result of homeopathic treatment. This survey also noted that the number of paid sick leave days by patients under the care of homeopathic physicians were 3.5 times less (598 days/year) than patients under the care of general practitioners (2,017 days/year). These figures suggest further benefit and savings to the homeopathic approach to care.
Homeopathic medicines are reimbursable under the French health care system, in part because they cost considerably less than conventional drugs (on average, the cost of a homeopathic medicine is 7 French francs versus 23.00 French francs for con- ventional drugs). Although homeopathic medicines in France represent 5% of all medicines prescribed by physicians, they represent only 1.2% of all drug reimbursements due to their lower cost per prescription.
--Caisse Nationale de l'Assurance Maladie des Travailleurs Salaris, 1996.
A 1991 French Government Report showed a significantly reduced cost from homeopathic care versus conventional medical care. The totality of costs associated with homeopathic care per physicians was approximately one-half of the totality of care provided by conventional primary care physicians. However, because homeopathic physicians, on average, saw significantly fewer patients, the overall cost per patient under homeopathic care was still a significant 15% less. It is also interesting to note that these savings appear to increase the longer a physician has been using homeopathy.
--French Government Report: Social Security Statistics, CNAM (National Inter-Regulations System) 61, January, 1991.
This study in Seattle, Washington compared the utilization and cost of homeopathic, naturopathic, and acupuncture services, and it found that homeopathic care was the least costly and that patient visits to homeopaths were less than to other alternative care professionals (this study, however, did not concurrently compare or evaluate patient visits or costs for conventional medical care)
--Jacobs J, Smith N. Charges, utilization, and practice patterns from a pilot insurance program covering alternative medical services. American Public Health Association Conference, New York City, November 18-21, 1996.
The History of Homeopathic Training in South Africa
Ever wondered how Homoeopathic training started in South Africa?
How did South Africa become the World Leader in Homoeopathic Training.
The History of Homoeopathic Training in South Africa
By Dr. Johan P. Prinsloo
--Jonas WB, Jacobs J, Healing with Homeopathy . New York: Warner, 1996.
The Royal London Homeopathic Hospital conducted an audit of a sample of their patients during a three-week period. A total of 541 questionnaires were handed out, 506 returned, and 499 were analyzed. This survey found that 63% of patients had their complaint for more than five years. Of the patients who were on conventional medications when they initially sought homeopathic care, 29% had stopped and an additional 32% had decreased their medication, while only 4% increased their medication. Sixty-two percent indicated that their main complaint had moderately or very much improved compared to their status before treatment at the homeopathic hospital.
This study, like others before it (Jonas and Jacobs, 1996), indicate that the vast majority of complaints seen by homeopaths are for chronic, long-term illness. Because these studies showed significant improvement in patient health and in reduction of medication, this data is of special interest to managed care companies.
--Sharples F, van Haselen, R, Patients perspective on using a complementary medicine approach to their health: a survey at the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital NHS Trust (no date, but first made available in 1998).
Additional evidence of good results of successful and poten- tially cost-effective treatment with homeopathic medicines was shown by the Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital which conducted an audit of 100 consecutive patients. They found that 81% had a condition for which conventional medical treatment was not effec- tive and for which 47% had seen a specialist. After one year, 60% experienced significant improvement in the condition about which they were most concerned, 49% had a sustained improvement in their quality of life, and 37% managed a sustained reduction in their conventional medications.
--Homoeopathy: The Guide (CDRom), HomInform (June 1, 1997).
One pilot study in Great Britain suggested that doctors practicing homeopathic medicine issued fewer prescriptions and at a lower cost than their conventional medical colleagues (Swayne, 1992), while another pilot study in Germany evaluated a single homeopathic dentist's practice and suggested that it was more cost-effective than conventional dental care (Fedlhaus, 1993).
One other example of a cost benefit to homeopathic care was witnessed in a small study of the homeopathic treatment for infertility (Gerhard et al., 1991). This study showed that homeopathic care for infertility was 30 times less expensive per successful delivery than the match comparison group given conventional care.
J, The cost and effectiveness of homeopathy.
British Homoeopathic Journal July 1992;81,3:148-150.
--Feldhaus H-W. Cost-effectiveness of homeopathic treatment in a dental practice. British Homoeopathic Journal . January, 1993;82,1:22-28.
I, Reimers G, Keller C, et al., "Weibliche fertiltitas-
storungen. Vergleich homoopathischer einzelmittel--mit konventio-
neller hormontherapie." Therapeutikon . 1991;7:309-315.