NHMRC releases complementary medicine resource and opens public consultation on draft Information Paper on homeopathy

Summary media release information

09 April 2014
Media Release
Contact for further information: 
Alexis Cooper, 0422 008 512, alexis.cooper@nhmrc.gov.au

Many Australians report that they use complementary medicines (CM) – a recent industry report showed annual revenue from the sale of CM products and therapies totalled $3.55 billion.

To inform discussions on the use of CM products, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) today released Talking with your Patients about Complementary Medicine – A Resource for Clinicians.  A NHMRC Draft Information Paper on the Evidence on Homeopathy has also been released for public consultation.

According to NHMRC CEO Professor Warwick Anderson, health care choices should be based on good quality evidence. 

“It is especially important that clinicians consider the evidence of effectiveness for any treatments they recommend and are aware of their professional and ethical responsibilities,” he said.

Talking with your Patients about Complementary Medicine – A Resource for Clinicians was developed to promote discussions between clinicians and their patients about their use of CM. It describes ways to best discuss the evidence, effectiveness and potential risks of CM use. 

The NHMRC Draft Information Paper on the Evidence on Homeopathy, also released today, is a summary of rigorous assessment of available research examining the effectiveness of homeopathy for treating 68 health conditions, the results of which are published in an overview report.

On assessment of the current evidence, it found ‘there is no reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective for treating health conditions.’

According to Professor Anderson, public consultation on the draft is important.

“NHMRC is acutely aware of strongly held views on the effectiveness of homeopathy, which is why this Draft Information Paper is available for public comment until 26 May 2014,” he said.

Details on how to make a submission are available on the NHMRC public consultation website. NHMRC’s Information Paper on homeopathy will be finalised and released once public consultation has been completed and submissions considered.