FTC to Host September Workshop in Washington, DC, to Examine Advertising for Over-the-Counter Homeopathic Products #00503

Submission Number:
Laura Thurlow
Outside the United States
Initiative Name:
FTC to Host September Workshop in Washington, DC, to Examine Advertising for Over-the-Counter Homeopathic Products
Inclusion of indications for use on labels of homeopathic products can only cause confusion. Homeopathic medicines are prescribed based on the entire constellation of physical, mental, and etiological factors; with special emphasis on the non-pathognomonic, peculiar, and characteristic symptoms. Thus, for any remedy to be homeopathically prescribed, it must fit the particular patient, as well as the totality of their symptom picture. It would be impractical and infeasible to include the entire spectrum of indications of any remedy, on its labeling. Moreover, claims made on homeopathic labeling can leave desperate patients vulnerable to being cheated into paying exorbitant prices for a product that is neither, homeopathic, nor curative. The only claim of a true classical homeopath is that the correct remedy can activate the patient's innate healing powers in direct proportion to their strength, to ameliorate or cure. Thus, homeopathic drugs are not effective simply because they are listed in the HPUS. Any dynamized and proven substance can be curative for specific patients, in specific situations. Thus, the same remedy may not cure two different people with the same syndrome. A wider definition of homeopathy may be of use. A "homeopathic medicine" can be defined as any dynamized,ultramolecular substance, prepared according to the guidelines of classical homeopathy, prescribed according to the law of similars, used in minimal doses, alone, or possibly in conjunction with intercurrents. Any substance can be made into a homeopathic medicine. Thus, thousands of homeopathic remedies exist, any of which may be beneficial to various individuals in various circumstances. Therefore, it is impractical to prove the efficacy of homeopathic remedies generically. It would seem more feasible to establish that ultramolecular medicines in general are effective in the treatment of disease, when prescribed for the individual and their illness, in accordance with the Law of Similars. It is unnecessary to prove that each homeopathically dynamized drug is bioactive. It is the process of dynamization itself that unlocks the medicinal properties of each substance. However, dynamized medicine can only be considered as "homeopathic" when used in accordance with homeopathic principles. These prescriptions are based not on the typical, pathognomonic symptoms characteristic of a particular illness; but based on the patient's, peculiar, individual, and characteristic symptoms, whether acute or chronic. The claim that classical homeopathy is a safe and effective healing modality is not unfair or deceptive. However, many products labeled as homeopathic are not formulated or used homeopathically. Additionally, the high quality intensive training required to equip homeopathic doctors to make full use of this modality, is largely unavailable. Reopening the intensive full time homeopathic programs which used to be offered in US universities could increase the efficacy of homeopathy, as it is currently practiced throughout North America. The same homeopathic medicines used to treat acute or "self-limiting" conditions can also usually be used to treat chronic disorders. Most remedies have a wide range of indications in both acute crisis and chronic disease. The homeopathic cure of a chronic disease usually involves a series of remedies, taken over a longer period of time. Homeopathic medicine can naturally improve symptoms, and at times even cure, where other modalities fail. It is therefore senseless to recommend homeopathic medicine to be sold OTC, solely for "self-limiting" diseases. The safety of homeopathic therapeutics has frequently been undermined by certain groups. However, most cases cited involve inappropriate discontinuation of conventional therapies, unrealistic patient expectations, and other forms of medical mismanagement on the part of individual practitioners. It is doubtful that a single death can be blamed on the pure effects of homeopath