GP’s should turn backs on homeopathy

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The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners has issued a statement on homeopathy, following the NHMRC’s recent finding that there was no scientific evidence to support homeopathic treatments.

The RACGP statement advises that:
• Medical practitioners should not practice homeopathy, refer patients to homeopathic practitioners, or recommend homeopathic products to their patients.
• Pharmacists should not sell, recommend, or support the use of homeopathic products.
• Homeopathic alternatives should not be used in place of conventional immunisation.
• Private health insurers should not supply rebates for or otherwise support homeopathic services or products.

Speaking to the media, RACGP president Dr Frank Jones said that people who turned to homeopathic products to address health issues could be putting themselves at risk.

Such unproven products might cause them to delay seeking out proper medical care, or lead them to reject conventional medical approaches entirely, he said.

He was particularly concerned with so-called homeopathic vaccines.

“These alternatives do not prevent diseases or increase protective antibodies and there is no plausible biological mechanism by which these alternatives could prevent infection,” he said.

“Individuals and the community are exposed to preventable diseases when homeopathic vaccines are used as an alternative to conventional immunisation.”

Dr Jones said the lack of evidence about any benefits from homeopathy must prompt doctors and pharmacists to turn their backs on it.

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