23 November 2016

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US FTC Homeopathy must tell no scientific proof Homeopathy Works

US FTC Homeopathy must tell no scientific proof Homeopathy Works

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a US body, issued a notice earlier this month, offering marketing guidelines for over the counter homeopathic treatments.

Enforcement Policy Statement on Marketing Claims for OTC Homeopathic Drugs
OTC = Over the counter

Homeopathy, which dates back to the late-eighteenth century, is based on the view that disease symptoms can be treated by minute doses of substances that produce similar symptoms when provided in larger doses to healthy people. Many homeopathic products are diluted to such an extent that they no longer contain detectable levels of the initial substance. In general, homeopathic product claims are not based on modern scientific methods and are not accepted by modern medical experts, but homeopathy nevertheless has many adherents.

For health, safety, or efficacy claims, the FTC has generally required that advertisers possess
“competent and reliable scientific evidence,” defined as “tests, analyses, research, or studies that
have been conducted and evaluated in an objective manner by qualified persons and [that] are
generally accepted in the profession to yield accurate and reliable results.” In general, for health benefit claims, particularly claims that a product can treat or prevent a disease or its symptoms, the substantiation required has been well-designed human clinical testing.

A statement that a product is based on traditional homeopathic theories might put some consumers on notice as to the basis of the product’s efficacy claims. However, because many consumers do not understand what homeopathy is, the Commission does not believe that such a statement alone would adequately put consumers on notice that a product’s efficacy claims are not backed by scientific evidence, and could, in fact, enhance the perceived credibility of the claim. Similarly, the Commission believes that a statement that a product’s efficacy “has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration” does not adequately address the potential lack of substantiation for a product’s efficacy claims; dietary supplements bear a similar disclosure but FDA does require that dietary supplement label claims be supported by competent and reliable scientific evidence. Finally, the Commission believes that a simple statement that a product’s efficacy is not supported by scientific evidence does not convey the truly limited basis for the efficacy claim and that, to avoid deceiving consumers, it is likely necessary to explain that it is not accepted by modern medicine.

For the vast majority of OTC homeopathic drugs, the case for efficacy is based solely on traditional homeopathic theories and there are no valid studies using current scientific methods showing the product’s efficacy. Accordingly, marketing claims that such homeopathic products have a therapeutic effect lack a reasonable basis and are likely misleading in violation of Sections 5 and 12 of the FTC Act.
However, the FTC has long recognized that marketing claims may include additional explanatory information in order to prevent the claims from being misleading. Accordingly, the promotion of an OTC homeopathic product for an indication that is not substantiated by competent and reliable scientific evidence may not be deceptive if that promotion effectively communicates to consumers that: (1) there is no scientific evidence that the product works and (2) the product’s claims are based only on theories of homeopathy from the 1700s that are not accepted by most modern medical experts.

To be non-misleading, the product and the claims must also comply with requirements for homeopathic products and traditional homeopathic principles. Of course, adequately substantiated claims for homeopathic products would not require additional explanation. Perfunctory disclaimers are unlikely to successfully communicate the information necessary to make claims for OTC homeopathic drugs non-misleading. The Commission notes:

Any disclosure should stand out and be in close proximity to the efficacy message; to be
effective, it may actually need to be incorporated into the efficacy message.

1- Marketers should not undercut such qualifications with additional positive statements or
consumer endorsements reinforcing a product’s efficacy.

2-In light of the inherent contradiction in asserting that a product is effective and also disclosing that there is no scientific evidence for such an assertion, it is possible that depending on how they are presented many of these disclosures will be insufficient to prevent consumer deception. Marketers are advised to develop extrinsic evidence, such as consumer surveys, to determine the net impressions communicated by their marketing materials.

3-The Commission will carefully scrutinize the net impression of OTC homeopathic advertising or other marketing employing disclosures to ensure that it adequately conveys the extremely limited nature of the health claim being asserted. If, despite a marketer’s disclosures, an ad conveys more substantiation than the marketer has, the marketer will be in violation of the FTC Act.

Earlier this year Nobel laureate Venkatraman Ramakrishnan told to HT that "They (homeopaths) take arsenic compounds and dilute it to such an extent that just a molecule is left. It will not make any effect on you. Your tap water has more arsenic. No one in chemistry believes in homeopathy. It works because of placebo effect,” He called it a bogus field.

Situation in India is different, Currently Indian government supports Homeopathy and even its planning to spend more on Homeopathy as alternative medicine.

But still homeopathy is a billion-dollar industry all over the world.

My own belief is that Homeopathy works only because of belief in the medicine.Patients get cured because they trust the sweet pill and it works. And other reason is there are no side effects but we need to understand that nothing is inside the sweet pill, so there is no question of side effects.
Once people understand in depth what they are taking, it will stop working there will be no effect.

Suggested Reading –

Facts Explained What is Placebo Effect Placebo Medicine Pill

Reality views by sm –

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Tags – Homeopathy Sham Drug Fake Drug US FTC


HindIndia November 23, 2016  

Really amazing article ... very nice ... Thanks for sharing this!! :) :)

Kirtivasan Ganesan November 24, 2016  

Homeopathy puts micro minerals in body and results observed. Body may react adversely. Science do not recommend homeopathy.

rudraprayaga November 26, 2016  

Allopaths do not accept homoeopaths.So they bring forth all the arguments to disprove homoeopathy as well as ayurveda. Thank you for sharing this.