NHMRC has reviewed the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of homeopathy in treating a variety of clinical conditions with the aim of providing Australians with reliable information about its use. This page contains the NHMRC Statement, the Information Paper detailing the evidence as well as an Administrative report.

NHMRC has reviewed the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of homeopathy in treating a variety of clinical conditions with the aim of providing Australians with reliable information about its use. This page contains the NHMRC Statement, the Information Paper detailing the evidence as well as an Administrative report.

The comprehensive assessment of the evidence included:

  • a systematic review of the evidence from available systematic reviews (an overview) on the effectiveness of homeopathy in treating a variety of clinical conditions in humans;
  • a report on evidence submitted to the NHMRC prior to the commencement of the review;
  • a report on evidence submitted to the NHMRC during public consultation on the draft information paper; and
  • consideration of published guidelines and other government reports.

The evidence identified in this assessment of the evidence has been summarised in a NHMRC Information Paper.

A NHMRC Statement has also been developed, based on the Information Paper.

The Administrative Report provides a brief summary of the processes underpinning the homeopathy review, as well as links to a number of additional documents:

  • Frequently Asked Questions;
  • Summary of responses to public consultation submissions;
  • Summary of responses to expert review feedback; and
  • List of studies considered in the Overview and Review of submitted literature.

Homeopathy Working Committee

A Homeopathy Working Committee was established to guide the evidence review. The committee membership included researchers and experts in evidence-based medicine and complementary medicine.

Commonwealth Ombudsman’s review

In January 2017 the Commonwealth Ombudsman received a Public Interest Disclosure from an anonymous complainant concerning the conduct of the NHMRC review into the effectiveness of homeopathy, the results of which were published by NHMRC in 2015. The substance of this complaint was provided to NHMRC in September 2017 (NHMRC has not been provided with a copy of the original complaint). The Ombudsman’s office has not yet concluded its investigation into the complaint.

Since that time, members of homeopathy associations have continued to publish unfounded and incorrect statements about NHMRC’s conduct of the review, including implications that the Ombudsman has made negative findings against NHMRC. Such statements are not true. 

On 04 June 2021, the Commonwealth Ombudsman took the unprecedented step of issuing a public statement on its website (www.ombudsman.gov.au) as follows:

Statement by the Commonwealth Ombudsman Michael Manthorpe on the current investigation relating to the National Health and Medical Research Council’s review of the evidence for the effectiveness of homeopathy 

The Office of the Commonwealth Ombudsman (the Office) acknowledges a current investigation relating to the National Health and Medical Research Council’s review of the evidence for the effectiveness of homeopathy. In view of the ongoing status of this investigation, the Office advises that no findings have been made and no inferences can or should be drawn at this time about whether there is proven wrongdoing. The length of time taken to investigate this matter reflects the complexity of the issues involved. The Office continues to make relevant enquiries and to consider the range of materials submitted by all relevant parties in order to form conclusions as soon as practicable.

NHMRC continues to cooperate fully with the Ombudsman in the resolution of this matter.

14 October 2021