Homeopathy only offers 12 products with healing potential | Society

This is the multimillionaire business of homeopathy in the world that plays in Spain | Economy



The new regulation on homeopathy it will marginalize the presence in the market of products of this kind capable of curing or alleviating diseases. This is inferred from the list made public yesterday by the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products with the applications submitted by the homeopathic laboratories to adapt to the regulations.

The list, which includes 2,008 petitions, only includes 12 products that aspire to see its therapeutic utility recognized. The rest have renounced this and opted for the simplified procedure, which will allow them to remain in the market but with the obligation to include in the packaging a message that informs consumers that they lack therapeutic efficacy. And sources of the Ministry of Health remembered yesterday that "it is not safe that these 12 requests go out ahead, since now they will have to demonstrate scientifically his efficiency".

The Ministry of Health has shown to the EU its desire to withdraw the condition of medicines to homeopathic products, when considering them a "risk to health".

The new regulation, which emanates from a European directive dating from 2001, comes to put an end to the legal limbo in which homeopathy has lived in Spain in recent decades. These products -currently in the market between 14,000 and 19,000, according to several estimates, although many are different presentations of the same strains- have been sold as medicines in pharmacies without having endorsed their effectiveness. The reason is the creation in 1994 of a record that exempted them from demonstrating their healing abilities, unlike conventional drugs. This registry should be provisional, but several legislative avatars have ended up perpetuating the situation until now.

The Aemps in April urged the laboratories, in application of a directive of 2007, to submit before the end of July the request to adapt to the new regulations. The result is the list made public yesterday, which will also mean the withdrawal of thousands of brands that have waived their request to adapt to the new regulations. "These products can not continue to be marketed […] and those who are in pharmacies must be removed ", says the note made public yesterday by Aemps.

For Elena Campos Sánchez, Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and president of the Association to Protect the Sick from Pseudotherapies, "that the homeopathic industry has submitted only 12 applications with therapeutic aspirations shows that not even they trust to exceed the requirements that for decades have been they demand conventional medicines. "

On the other hand, a spokesperson for Boiron, the largest company in the sector that has submitted applications for products with and without therapeutic indication, considers, "good news that advances the regulation of the sector, which will give greater clarity and safety to patients" .

Gonzalo Fernández Quiroga, doctor of the National Assembly of Homeopathy -which claims to represent the health professionals of the sector-, considers, however, that the registration will not condition his prescriptions. "That would go against the very essence of homeopathy, which has been applied for 200 years," he says. "The key is the personalized treatment and for some ailments we will continue using all the products in the market," he concludes.

1.2 million fees payable each year remain in the air

Beyond its efficacy, not scientifically proven, critics of homeopathy warn that the sector is not paying the rates that would correspond. And they criticize that the order of the Ministry of Health has not solved this point for now. "Conventional drugs pay a fee for each presentation" that goes on the market, explains Campos-Sánchez. "For example, with paracetamol, the laboratory pays a rate for the 500 milligrams and another for the 1 gram. In contrast, homeopathic laboratories only pay one fee for each strain and then stop or pay less for the rest of dilutions sold from the same strain. This is an important grievance for the industry that sells conventional drugs and for all taxpayers ", concludes Campos-Sánchez. The former Minister of Health, Carmen Montón, denounced that the amounts not paid in rates exceed 1.2 million euros per year, an amount that other estimates consider to be much lower than the real one.

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