In 2020, a clinical trial of homeopathic adjunctive treatment for patients with advanced lung cancer was published in the prestigious medical journal The Oncologist. It seemed to reveal sensational results: Patients treated with homeopathy lived about 70% longer than placebo-treated patients, and also gained significantly in quality of life.
Now, an in-depth analysis by an independent German-Austrian working group has revealed numerous indications that the data could have been manipulated and falsified. Problems include:
- The study protocol was only drawn up after the trial results were known, a fact that was altered in the published study
- Exclusion criteria for patients were only defined after the data were available, i.e. a sign of possible “cherry picking” the desired results
- The observation period for quality of life was reduced from two years to 18 weeks only after the data were available
The conclusion of the review of the study reads:
Several of the results can only be explained by data manipulation or falsification. The publication is not a fair representation of the study.
The full press release in English from Information Network Homeopathy can be downloaded here.
If you want to remind yourself of all the thought-provoking talks and lectures delivered at the 18th ESC, or, if you weren’t there and want to know what was said, here’s your chance!
The talks are now on YouTube for your viewing enjoyment and education.
England’s National Health Service has said it is going to ‘formally request’ that the Government ban GPs from prescribing homeopathy.
This July the National Health Service in England published a report with the title ‘Items which should not routinely be prescribed in primary care: A Consultation on guidance for CCGs’. The report lists a range of treatments currently prescribed within the NHS without sufficient justification. To the delight of skeptics these include homeopathy and herbal remedies, which the report considered to be of no proven efficacy. Until October 21st people will have the opportunity to give their views on these proposals using an online form.
Responding to concerns that NHS England’s plans to stop prescribing some medicines as part of cost-cutting measures, but still spends £4 million on homeopathic medicine, Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on 31.3.17 that homeopathic medicine is ‘placebo at best’ and it is ‘absurd’ for doctors to prescribe it. The online recording of the interview is available for the next month on Radio 4’s website (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08k1b4s).