After decades of non-regulation, federal agencies are finally taking a closer at homeopathy,reports BuzzFeed’s Dan Vergano:
The FDA is taking aim at homeopathic remedies — pills and preparations sold over-the-counter that claim to cure diseases with tiny doses of stuff that makes people sick.
But that may change. This month, both the FDA, which oversees drug safety, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which oversees drug ads, will end lengthy public comment periods that followed hearings on homeopathy. The FTC smacked its sister drug-safety agency in public comments in August, calling for the FDA to crack down on homeopathic products, which “may harm consumers.”
The Center for Inquiry has already filed comments with the FDA; they can be read here,
The article goes on to quote CFI’s Michael De Dora:
In 1938, before the advent of modern drug testing, the U.S. Congress added homeopathic remedies to the list of legal drugs nationwide. Homeopathy largely faded from medicine thereafter, dispensed in minute quantities from the cabinets of homeopathic doctors. That changed in 1988, when U.S. drug laws changed to allow these products on pharmacy shelves without a prescription, and without the efficacy evidence needed to sell other drugs. The same laws exempt homeopathic drugs from limits on alcohol, according to the FDA.
Regardless, a resurgence of interest in “natural” medical cures spurred the growth of a homeopathic remedy industry, Michael De Dora of the Center for Inquiry, a junk science watchdog group based in Washington, D.C., told BuzzFeed News.
By 2007, the CDC estimated that Americans were spending $34 billion a year on alternative medicine and doctor visits, including homeopathic products. The American Association of Homeopathic Pharmacists takes issue with market surveys that suggest homeopathic drug sales are around $6.4 billion yearly, instead claiming they are closer to $1 billion.
In any case, it’s a lot of money. “Especially with big box stores stocking homeopathic products on their shelves, the market has grown,” De Dora said. “They are on the shelves next to real medicine, they look like real medicine, and there is a lot evidence that people don’t know what they are buying.”
You can read the full article here.