The French Health Minister, Agnés Buzyn, announced on Tuesday that Social Security will stop reimbursing 30% of the price of homeopathic medicines that it currently pays as of 2021.
In an interview with the newspaper "Le Parisien", the owner explained that 30% will be reduced to 15% in 2020 and zero as of January 1, 2021, according to the opinion of the French High Authority of Health (HAS , by its abbreviations in French) that in a recent report discouraged the reimbursement of these products.
The study, commissioned to this independent public body last August by the Government, stated that it is "unfavorable to the maintenance of the reimbursement of homeopathy", after a nine-month scientific evaluation.
"I always said that I would follow the opinion of the HAS and I have therefore decided to start the process to completely stop the reimbursements," says Buzyn.
According to the owner, if the decision is not applied with immediate effect it is to "give time to pedagogy", accompany the patients and give the industry a margin to organize.
The measure of health is supported by the findings that the HAS made clear in its report after studying the effects of homeopathy on 24 conditions, such as anxiety, plantar warts, oncology or respiratory infections.
He judged that "these medications did not scientifically prove effective enough to justify a refund."
Among the reasons mentioned for their opinion were the "absence of evidence of efficacy" or the "absence of a solid study to assess its impact on the quality of life of the patient".
"They have not even tried their interest in public health in the care of frequent pathologies, perhaps we should work on the idea that it is not always necessary to take a medication," the minister argued.
France has been reimbursing a part of homeopathic medicines since 1984. Currently, according to figures from the Ministry, there are 20,000 specialists in homeopathy, although according to the minister, the Government's will is not to prohibit its use or teaching.
Buzyn hopes that the decision will also serve to create debate about the use of medicines and reduce their consumption.
"If homeopathy was useful, we would continue to reimburse it, we already do it with innovative and new medicines, very expensive, but whose cost we assume because they are effective." In global terms, the assumed cost of care increases year after year, "he said.
. (tagsToTranslate) Security (t) Social (t) French (t) costing (t) homeopathy