Health workers are warning homeopathic treatments are not as safe as they claim, despite the fact they have been around for hundreds of years.
Key points:Health workers are saying homeopathic products are not tested to be safeThe Homeopathic Association of Australia (HAAs) is urging the government to review how homeopathic drugs are testedThe Australian Government has said it will review the homeopathic medicines market in light of new research findingsHomeopathic products have been used for thousands of years, but the HAs is warning that they are not well tested for safety.
“The current state of the market means homeopathic substances are not regulated by the HAAs,” HAs chief executive David Miller said.
“We are concerned that some of the ingredients and treatments used in homeopathic practices may not be properly tested for safe levels of safety.”
He said the HIs main concern was with the level of risk to health, which is a higher concern for those using homeopathic items.
“There is no doubt that the levels of risk posed by these products are much higher than what is currently being tested for in clinical trials,” Mr Miller said in a statement.
“However, we also recognise that the evidence is mixed, and we do not yet have a clear understanding of how safe these products may be in the long-term.”
Mr Miller said the majority of homeopathic users did not believe they should be subject to a health risk assessment.
“Although the market is still nascent, we are confident that there is a good level of interest in homeopathy as an alternative to conventional medicine,” he said.
He said while it was important for consumers to get tested for the safety of homeopathy, he did not think homeopathy should be banned.
“If you do not want to take the risk, you need to get checked,” Mr Parker said.’
No data yet’The HAs advice came in the wake of the publication of a series of articles in the Australian and New Zealand media this month, highlighting a rise in reports of patients dying after using homeopathy products.
In a submission to the Health Minister, the HGs said the evidence needed to be assessed and the risks posed by homeopathy were not well known.
“Given the high level of public concern about the use of homeopaths, it is not appropriate for the HMA to undertake a review of its own practices or products,” the Hs said.
The HIs advice comes after research published last year suggested that homeopathy was linked to the deaths of about 70 people worldwide.
“It is clear that homeopathic preparations are highly effective for treating some diseases, but there is no evidence yet that they can prevent or treat cancer or any other illness,” Mr Campbell said.
Dr Miller said more research was needed to fully understand how the products were used.
“In the meantime, we do know that many of the products contain substances that have a tendency to cause toxicity in humans,” he told ABC Radio Melbourne.
“This means that they need to be tested to ensure they are safe for the use by patients.”
The HGs submission noted that the Australian Government did not require health practitioners to be certified to practise homeopathy.
“For a number of reasons, the Health Department does not require certified health practitioners or practitioners to take part in homeopath activities,” it said.