Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy - Science and Technology Committee Contents

Memorandum submitted by the Liga Medicorum Homoeopathica Internationalis (LMHI) (HO 31)


  1.  The Liga Medicorum Homoeopathica Internationalis (LMHI) was founded in Rotterdam, 10 September 1925 and was established under the terms of Swiss civil law with Geneva designated as its registered office.

  1.2  The purposes of the association are the development and securing of homeopathy worldwide and the creation of a link among licensed homeopaths with medical diplomas and societies and persons who are interested in homeopathy. The association is exclusively devoted to non-profit activities serving philanthropic benefits.

  1.3  The LMHI represents at this moment 70 countries worldwide and has approximately 10.000 members. The LMHI is therefore the worldwide biggest homeopathic medical association representing around 50 homeopathic medical associations worldwide.


  2.1  In many countries all over the world homeopathy has gained official status. It has been officially recognized by the government as a system of medicine or medical specialty in the following countries:

    — in Central and South America (Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico),

    — in Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka) and

    — in Europe (Belgium, Bulgaria, Hungary, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Russia, United Kingdom).

  2.2  In some of these countries homeopathy has been integrated into the national health care systems, namely in:

    — Brazil, India, Mexico, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom.

  2.3  In India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the legal standing of homeopathy is equivalent to that of conventional western (allopathic) medicine, many practitioners are certified in both homeopathy and allopathic medicine, and the primary care provider for many patients is a homeopathic doctor.

  2.4  In India alone there are around 180,000 homeopathic doctors, trained and educated in hundreds of homeopathic medical colleges, recognized and supported by the Indian Government. Thousands of homeopathic hospitals support the Indian health care system.

  2.5  There are a few thousand veterinary surgeons in the world who provide homeopathic treatment to pets, food-producing and other animals. The International Association for Veterinary Homeopathy IAVH established minimum training standards and the requirements for teaching programmes, examinations and continuing education. In most EU Member States there are special homeopathic training programmes for veterinarians as well as for dentists and pharmacists.

  2.6  Over the past 30-40 years homeopathy has benefited from growing demand both from doctors and from the public in the majority of the European countries. According to a survey by European Commission order three Europeans out of four know about homeopathy and of these about 30% use it for their health care.

  2.7  In the European Union there are approximately 40,000 physicians who have taken a training course in homeopathy. Many more doctors in Europe prescribe homeopathic medicines without any homeopathic training: approximately 25-40% of the GPs from time to time, 6-8% of them on a more regular basis.

  2.8  Among the different forms of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), in particular homeopathy has a form of legal recognition in certain European countries, an organisational structure at European level as well as in many other countries in the world , self-regulatory mechanisms, and a level of scientific credibility.

  2.9  Homeopathy is being increasingly recognised as a potential asset to European health care and to many other health care systems in the world. Resolutions on CAM (or non-conventional medicine) have been adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, EU Directives oblige the Member States to register homeopathic medicinal products, and homeopathic medicinal products are being included in the European Pharmacopoeia.

  In Hungary (1997) and Lithuania (1999) homeopathy is officially recognized as a regular medical method by the government.

  2.10  In 1999 the Belgian Parliament adopted a law with the aim to recognise some CAM modalities, including homeopathy. According to this law homeopathy is considered as an additional qualification (GP with homeopathy, paediatrician with homeopathy etc).

  The Portuguese Parliament in 2003 and the Bulgarian Parliament in 2005 adopted similar laws, providing a framework for recognition of individual branches of CAM including homeopathy.

  The Italian Parliament is currently discussing legislation that will eventually lead to the recognition of medical qualifications in homeopathy and other branches of CAM.

  Several National Medical Associations have recognised homeopathy as a therapeutic medical method.

  2.11  In Germany doctors can obtain, after passing an examination, an additional qualification "Homüopathischer Arzt" recognised by the Bundesärztekammer. A similar situation exists in Austria where the additional qualification "Homüopathie" is recognized by the ½sterreichische Ärztekammer.

  The Latvian Medical Association (Latvijas Arstu Biedriba), which regulates and supervises all medical specialties, conferred homeopathy the official status of a clinical specialty in 1995.

  2.12  In 1997 the French Medical Association (Ordre National des M

decins) recognised homeopathy as an existing therapeutic medical method and stated that homeopathic education should be installed at Universities, leading to a diploma authorised by the Ordre, and that systematic information on homeopathy should be given within the undergraduate medical curriculum.

  2.13  A subspecialty under the term of "certificate of capacity in homeopathy" has been in place in Switzerland since 1998 in collaboration with the Swiss Medical Association FMH, for doctors holding a title of a current specialty such as General Medicine, Internal Medicine or Paediatrics.

  2.14  In some countries, such as France, Germany, Poland and Spain, homeopathic education is provided at universities as well as at other training institutes. In France at eight universities (Aix-Marseille, Besançon, Lille, Paris-Bobigny, Bordeaux II, Limoges, Poitiers, and Lyon), in Germany at five universities (Berlin, Düsseldorf, Hannover, Heidelberg, and Freiburg), in Poland at seven universities (Warsaw, Poznan, Krakow, Katowice, Lublin, Gdansk, and Wroclaw), and in Spain at four universities (Barcelona, Murcia, Sevilla and Valladolid).

  In all other European countries homeopathy is taught in private training institutes.

  2.15  Several hospitals in Europe, in their out-patient departments, currently provide homeopathic treatment by physicians, ie Austria (7), France (2), Germany (5), Spain (2), Italy (some). There are five dedicated public sector homeopathic hospitals in the United Kingdom.

  2.16  The LMHI has been also adviser to the World Health Organization (WHO) in regard to several working projects:

    WHO Guidelines: Quality for Safety of Homeopathic Medicines

    WHO Report Homeopathy: Overview and Analysis of Clinical Research

    WHO Guidelines for Homeopathic Education

  According to the World Health Organisation WHO, traditional medicine(TM) and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) account for a major part of the health care provided worldwide. The WHO in 2002 drew up its report "Traditional Medicine Strategy 2002-05", describing its first global strategy on traditional and alternative medicine, which provides a framework for policy to assist countries to regulate traditional or complementary/alternative medicine (TM/CAM) to make its use safer, more accessible to their populations and sustainable.


  3.1  Homeopathy is rooted in experiment and careful observation. In fact, the earliest systematic study of the action of medicines in medical history is the homeopathic pathogenetic trial—also called proving. Homeopathic pathogenetic trials are a type of research, in which compounds are tested on healthy human volunteers in order to observe as many effects as possible, at a non-toxic level.

  3.2  Over the 200 years of its existence a large amount of documentation particularly case studies has been published on the curative effects of homeopathic medicines. Further, research in homeopathy takes place in the areas of Clinical Research (on patients), and Basic Research (in laboratories).


  Homeopathy is safe. Unlike other medication, homeopathic medicines are non-toxic and harmless and do not have any adverse side effects. Patients unable to use conventional prescription drugs due to side effects can often safely use Homeopathic medicines. Homeopathic medicines are natural, prepared from minute amounts of herbs, minerals and animal products. Their quality and safety are assured by the national medicine agencies based eg on European Union legislation and European Pharmacopoeia requirements as well as on the national requirements in other countries of the world.


  Homeopathic medicines are much less expensive than conventional prescription drugs, because they are generic, non-patented and non-patentable medicinal substances, produced at low costs. On average, homeopathic medicines cost less than €1 per day in acute conditions and a few cents per day (sometimes a fraction of a cent) in chronic conditions.

  The long-term gain has been demonstrated by several research studies. They show that patients who were treated with homeopathy used fewer medications, had better health, fewer days off sick, fewer visits to medical specialists, less time in the hospital than patients of conventional physicians. Moreover, there are no costs associated with complications due to adverse medication effects. In other words, homeopathy may offer significant cost savings to public health bodies, and to the economy more widely.

  On account of the just mentioned advantages of an homeopathic treatment (Low-cost, high effectivity and safety) the Government of Thailand recently introduced homeopathy in their health care system providing also—at a university level—a full Homeopathic training for their medical doctors according to the Homeopathic Medical Education Standards from the LMHI.

  It remains to mention that some health insurances in Europe offer the reimbursement of homeopathic treatments. In Germany eg, all PRIVATE Insurances reimburse the fees for the consultations with a homeopathic MD, as well as the costs for homeopathic medicines.

  Also several PUBLIC Insurances made contracts for reimbursement for the fees for homeopathic consultations with the GERMAN ASSOCIATION OF HOMEOPATHIC MEDICAL DOCTORS. That means all homeopathic doctors being members of this association and having completed the three year long homeopathic training program for medical doctors are able to take part of these contracts and receive an adequate reimbursement for their work.

Dr Ulrich D. Fischer


Liga Medicorum Homoeopathica Internationalis

November 2009

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