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Homeopathy Lancet Trials Revisited

Posted by Sanjib Sarkar on Wed, Nov 19, 2008 @ 03:08 PM

  A series of homeopathic trials were published in the Lancet medical journal.  These trials questioned the benefits of homeopathy.  A Swiss and United Kingdom of researchers reviewed 110 double blind placebo trials.  They came to the conclusion that homeopathy works no better than a placebo.  The researchers had said that in the smaller lower quality studies, homeopathy shows a more positive effect than a placebo.  The trials claim in larger studies homeopathy seems to be the same as a placebo.  The researchers used 14 of the larger studies in homeopathy studies to come up with their conclusions.  These trials also had allopathic medicine as a third comparison group.  The trials compared asthma, allergies and muscular problems.  The allopathic trials showed that there was a  significant improvement in their condition compared to the placebo and homeopathy groups in the larger study groups.

  Of course once these trials were made public, the media was all over it.  The BBC published an article saying  Homeopathy benefit questioned.  Lancet stated that this evidence shows there is no medical evidence to tell anyone to use a homeopathy treatment.  Many homeopaths questioned the trials but they fell on deaf hears.  Surely, a reputable medical journal such as Lancet would have accurate homeopathy trial information.  Skeptics and critics now announced that they had ample proof that homeopathy does not work.

  Researcher George Lewith, Professor of Health Research at Southampton University, looked at the data.  The trials did not say which trials were of larger quality and which trials were of poor quality.  Assumptions of the data also were not mentioned such as what constitutes a large trial.  The conclusions become unreliable due to the changing conditions of larger quality trials.  The data seems to be manipulated to meet a preconceived conclusion by the researchers.  There are a limited number of homeopathy studies so researchers choose the homeopathic studies that had an unfavorable response.  The matching with conventional medicine was meaningless.  Conventional medicine trials were not matched at all with the homeopathy trials.  The researchers saying that conventional medicine trials showed a greater response than the homeopathic and placebo trials proved not to be true.  The conventional medicine trials were just randomly chosen trials by the researchers.  They did not match the placebo or homeopathy trials in anyway.  

  The conclusion of the Homeopathy Lancet trials is that this data is totally unreliable.  Researchers manipulated the data to reach a preconceived conclusion about these trials.  Conventional medicine showing a greater effect than a placebo or homeopathy was actually not true either.  There were no matching of these trials.

  Why is a medical journal like Lancet publishing such poorly done trials?  Why is the media also not researching the trials before publishing them?  There is a forum posting to continue this conversation. You can post your opinions on our homeopathic forum about these Lancet homeopathy trials.



Reference: Lüdtke R, Rutten ALB. The conclusions on the effectiveness of homeopathy highly depend on the set of analyzed trials. J Clin Epidemiol 2008. doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2008.06.015
Rutten ALB, Stolper CF. The 2005 meta-analysis of homeopathy: the importance of post-publication data. Homeopathy 2008. doi:10.1016/j.homp.2008.09.008. 


Tags: Homeopathy Trials

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