Why is HRI needed?
Why is HRI needed?
Whilst homeopathy is widely accepted in some countries e.g. France, Germany and India, it remains controversial in others. In this era of ‘evidence informed practice’, this will remain the case until we can provide decision-makers with more information about how homeopathy works and what it can do. Carrying out research of such high quality that its findings are indisputable, is therefore the only way to move past the current impasse in the highly charged homeopathy debate.
Despite its potential, research in homeopathy is not a government priority. For example, in the UK only 0.0085%1 of the total medical research budget is spent on the entire field of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, of which homeopathy is only one example. Until this changes, the work of HRI is essential.
The patents problem
In conventional medicine the high costs of clinical trials are typically covered by pharmaceutical companies. Once the new patented drug goes onto the market, research costs are recouped and significant profits made until the patents expire.
Unfortunately this is not possible with homeopathy.
As homeopathic medicines have been widely used for up to 200 years, they cannot be patented. This means that if a company pays for an expensive trial which confirms efficacy of a particular remedy, they cannot prevent other companies from making and selling the same product, reducing their return on investment.
Without the large financial incentives associated with patents, it is harder to find companies who are willing to invest in homeopathy research. Donors are needed, whether individuals or companies, who are willing to support research for the good of patients, rather than primarily for financial gain. It is HRI’s goal to identify such individuals and work with them to ensure that their money is put to good use to generate research of the highest quality.
- George T Lewith, Funding for CAM. BMJ, 2007; 335 (7627): 951 | PubMed