Why can't homeopathy take a DB Controlled trial?!

Question: Why can't homeopathy take a DB Controlled trial?
I noticed this comment from a homeopath

" it's been explained to you time and time again that homoeopathy cannot work in random controlled trials because it is as you put it "individulized treatment". So this explains why there are not many trails showing it works."

I'd have thought it was quite simple. Take 200 people with a cold. Have them visit the homeopath for the consultation. When the homeopath writes the prescription then take that to a dispensary. At the dispensary a random choice is made whether or not to substitute straight sugar pills (or pills with just distilled water dropped on them) for the real treatment.


Why do supporters of homeopathy insist blinded trials are not possible?
It seems to me that they just don't want the stuff to be tested.


Hi Nitram.

This is a special pleading fallacy. Homeopaths' don't like RCTs because homeopathy has never succeeded in any high quality trial.

The complaint is that because homeopathy is an "individualized treatment" it does not lend itself well to RCTs.

Individualized treatments can be tested in RCTs. It adds to the complexity of the trial design, but it can be done and it has been done. Homeopathy always fails miserably.

In science, if something does work beyond placebo in a properly designed trial, the logical conclusion is that it doesn't work. Instead of accepting this, Homeopaths claim that homeopathy does work but RCTs are not the best way to demonstrate efficacy.

It's just an excuse.

Hello Dave, Tink, JLI and everyone else ..

Has anyone seen Nate? :)

Hi Nitram & Rhianna :)

There's also no need for "individulized treatments" to be trialled individually. The treatment under test is 'homeopathy'. Irrespective of the effectiveness of individual 'potions' on individual patients, anyone who claims homeopathy shows an effect above placebo must therefore concede that a group of 200 people with the same illness and treated with homeopathy, will show an effect over and above that of no treatment at all (i.e. placebo).

This does not happen.

Anything that does not show a benefit over the placebo clearly does not, er, show any benefit.

That sounds so dumb when I type it out, but it's stupidity that alties stand by.

You would have to select folks who all required the same remedy for the same symptoms - the criteria for which would be clearly defined before you even said to hello to anyone....it makes participant selection a bonafide pain in the butt, however.....it can, and has been done.

Many, many times.
Enough said.

Lol. You guys are so Goofy - Mornin' All.

Well some homeopaths do participate in such trials: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21076…

But it is unknown if they remain homeopaths after finishing the trial.

Hello to everybody from me too :-)

Because homopathy is a scam, and the homopaths don't want that to be demonstrated.

Same excuse most alt medders have. Probably because they all fail trials.

Yes it's special pleading as Rhianna has pointed out. As I frequently say, instead of providing evidence of efficacy, homeopaths always end up resorting to logical fallacies. It a huge red flag that every savvy consumer should be aware of.

Homeopaths claim they cure almost any condition. That is a testable claim. Either you get better or you don't.

Its time the homeopathy powers that be funded large definitive trials and put the controversy to rest once and for all. Of course we all know that's not going to happen, don't we?

EDIT: @Leanne, the individuation argument doesn’t stack up – for any condition, not just self limiting ones. Surely good quality studies looking at large sample sizes would be able to show overall efficacy or otherwise?

The 'cold' scenario doesn't hold up - particularly with regard to duration as the measure:

Infected with the SAME strain - Some people take a week just 'getting a cold', then a week 'just having the cold' then a week or more 'just getting over it'. Other people know in the afternoon they're 'getting a cold', then spend 2 days 'blocked up', then one day 'getting over it'.

AND, although there are a number of 'core cold symptoms', people then manifest a varied range of concomitant symptoms (often the final differential in selecting a specific homoeopathic remedy)

Individuation is the reason why your protocol is not workable.


Right On, Polly!!!!

I'm a Naturopath & Homoeopath

Because Homeopaths treat people NOT diseases ?

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