The BHA regards the 10:23 stunt as grossly irresponsible. To suggest in public that taking an overdose of a medicine is a good way of testing its effectiveness gives an extremely dangerous message to the public. It also shows that the participants have no understanding about how to select and use homeopathic remedies in an appropriate manner.
The claims of 10:23 ring hollow indeed. The evidence base for homeopathy is gradually increasing. There are well over 100 double blind trials in homeopathy and more are positive than negative. This is in spite of the many difficulties encountered squeezing a holistic and individualised treatment into a strictly controlled trial methodology.
Fascinatingly the evidence for the effectiveness of highly diluted substances in the laboratory setting is also mounting. Two commonly used models are the effect of highly diluted histamine on basophil activity and the effect of dilute arsenic on the growth of arsenic impregnated wheat seedlings. These have been replicated by different groups of researchers. A full summary can be found in Dr Peter Fisher’s submission to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. This whole field has been ignored by the critics of homeopathy as has the importance of patient outcomes.
The Faculty of Homeopathy and BHA do not support the sole use of homeopathy for any serious disease when effective conventional treatment is available to, and tolerated by, the individual patient. Homeopathy is, however, often used with great patient satisfaction for support during conventional treatments.
It would be a catastrophe if a small minority of cynics stifle patient choice of access to what they find effective. NHS patients have benefited greatly from homeopathic treatment at a very small cost – with approximately £152,000 per annum spent on homeopathic medicines, which is a mere 0.001% of the NHS drug budget.