FTC to Host September Workshop in Washington, DC, to Examine Advertising for Over-the-Counter Homeopathic Products #00529

Submission Number:
Patricia Finley
Initiative Name:
FTC to Host September Workshop in Washington, DC, to Examine Advertising for Over-the-Counter Homeopathic Products
I am a consumer of homeopathic medicines. Because of my own research and experience, I trust such products as safe and effective. Regarding my qualifications to judge: I have taught research methods at the university level and for the last 17 years, I held the position of Senior Research Analyst at Temple University. I am a careful consumer and pay attention to results. I am also aware of the potential for bias in any judgment. In the case of homeopathy, I have read extensively (for a layperson) looking into available research on the validity of claims and the indications for homeopathic preparations. I trust what I have read and recognize that research methods for the conventional pharmaceutical industry are not generalizable to homeopathic OTCs. The philosophy of healing is not the same and the identification of applicable indications is individual. I credit homeopathic remedies with my return to health. I have been using homeopathic medications since August 2011, under the care and direction of my primary care physician, who is both an M.D. and homeopathic practitioner. In other words, my primary care physician practices integrated medicine. Over the last three years, I experienced several serious illnesses, some of which required hospitalization. In those cases, I used conventional medicine in conjunction with homeopathy. - Homeopathy appears to be responsible for decreasing the number and severity of asthma episodes. I still use an inhaler for emergencies and see a conventional pulmonologist, periodically, but my need for such conventional assistance is markedly decreased. - I had severe nosebleeds, several times a week over seven years. Though I consulted multiple conventional specialists and endured invasive examinations and treatments, conventional medicine had no remedy. After working with homeopathic remedies, under the direction of my physician, I have not had a single nosebleed since January 2013. - I credit homeopathic practice with curing an eye infection. Another conventional physician documented the infection and prescribed an antibiotic, which I did not take. The homeopathic remedy prescribed by my current physician cured the infection. I have a history of experiencing extreme infections, including sepsis. This is the first time I was able to manage an infection without antibiotics. - For many years, I had a problem of waking up with severe and painful muscle spasms. Conventional medicine was no help to me. Homeopathy seems to be responsible for the spasms gradually decreasing and then stopping six months ago. - I have used homeopathic medications to good effect for aches, pains, and poison ivy. - Approximately five years ago, I began conventional treatment for a major depression. The conventional drugs prescribed for my depression had severe and intolerable side effects. I began to see my current physician four years ago and he replaced the conventional drugs with homeopathic remedies. The depression eased enough to allow me to work through the issues causing the depression. I was able to regain a healthier perspective on my life. I attribute that progress to the skills of my physician and the judicious application of homeopathic therapy. There is general agreement among researchers in the field, that the FDA's CPG is appropriate as it is. There is substantive evidence that the FDA has done a truly effective job monitoring the market and removing those products, which do not comply with homeopathic standards and could potentially be harmful for patients. Yes, there is substantial information on regulatory processes in the literature. Moreover, many other countries use homeopathy extensively with little government interference. Some governments, on the other hand, support homeopathic medicine. I definitely want the freedom to choose between conventional and homeopathic. In terms of regulatory processes, consideration of