As part of NHMRC’s role to ensure that Australians receive the best available, evidence-based and reliable health advice, NHMRC is examining the effectiveness of homeopathy in the treatment of clinical conditions in humans.
As part of this work, NHMRC is currently seeking feedback on the draft Information Paper: Evidence on the effectiveness of homeopathy for treating health conditions, which provides a plain language summary of NHMRC’s assessment of the evidence on homeopathy.
The NHMRC assessment of the evidence comprises:
- Effectiveness of Homeopathy for Clinical Conditions: Evaluation of the Evidence – Overview Report. This is an independent systematic review of the available systematic reviews (an overview) on the effectiveness of homeopathy in treating a variety of clinical conditions in humans. The overview was commissioned by NHMRC and conducted by Optum.
- Effectiveness of Homeopathy for Clinical Conditions: Evaluation of the Evidence – Review of Submitted Literature. Additional evidence was submitted to NHMRC from homeopathy stakeholder groups and members of the public prior to the commencement of the review.
- A consideration of evidence‑based guidelines and government reports on the use of homeopathy.
The assessment of the evidence documentation (the Overview Report and the Review of Submitted Literature) has been released for background only, to assist interested parties in considering NHMRC’s draft Information Paper. The content of these reports is not subject to consultation.
The purpose of public consultation is to ensure that that the relevant evidence has been identified and appropriately considered in the development of the draft Paper. NHMRC is also seeking feedback about whether the draft Paper is presented in a manner that can be understood by the Australian community.
Further information on NHMRC’s review of the effectiveness of homeopathy can be found on the NHMRC website.
You are invited to make a submission to NHMRC by providing your comments on the NHMRC draft Information Paper and submitting any additional evidence for consideration. NHMRC will only give consideration to submissions that address the public consultation questions, are within the scope of the review, and meet the criteria regarding evidence discussed below.
Please note that the closing date for submissions has been extended to 5.00 pm (AEST), Monday 2 June 2014 to take account of a planned shutdown of the NHMRC IT network from 23–26 May 2014.
All submissions must be made through this online public consultation portal. If this is not possible, please contact the NHMRC Project Officer to make alternative arrangements.
PLEASE NOTE THAT EMAIL SUBMISSIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
Submissions of evidence
NHMRC will take into account the level, quality, strength and relevance of any additional evidence submitted in response to Question 3, below. NHMRC’s approach for assessing evidence is consistent with an internationally accepted standard. NHMRC’s Evidence Hierarchy is available below.
- NHMRC additional levels of evidence and grades for recommendations for developers of guidelines (PDF, 150KB)
Any additional evidence that is submitted will be considered in the context of the body of evidence already considered in the review.
Any additional evidence must meet the inclusion criteria that are specified as part of Question 3 in order to be considered by NHMRC.
Personal stories, case series and reports, medical records and raw data will not be considered.
Please do not submit the following studies as they will not be re-considered:
- systematic reviews included in the Overview Report; or
- studies that are considered within a systematic review that is included in the Overview Report; or
- studies included in the Review of Submitted Literature report.
A list of studies that were considered in preparing the draft Information Paper is included as a Supporting attachment. Please consult this list prior to submitting additional evidence.
Please submit evidence in the form of a full citation to the relevant study or article, and a web link to full text of the study (if possible). The particular document should be easily identifiable from the citation. Documents (e.g. full text articles) cannot be uploaded through NHMRC’s online public consultation portal and should not be provided to NHMRC via email or post. NHMRC will source the full text of submitted citations as required.
Scope of the review
The following issues are outside the scope of the homeopathy evidence review and comments or evidence on these issues received during public consultation will not be considered:
- the use of homeopathy for preventing health conditions (including homeopathic ‘vaccines’), or whether homeopathy maintains and/or enhances general health.
- the history of homeopathy or its mode of action.
- safety of the ingredients of homeopathic medicines.
Q1. Is the draft Information Paper presented and written in a manner that is easy to understand?
Q2. Does the draft Information Paper clearly outline how the evidence was reviewed and interpreted by the Homeopathy Working Committee?
Q3. Is there additional evidence on the effectiveness of homeopathy for the treatment of clinical conditions in humans that needs to be considered? To be considered in public consultation any additional evidence must:
- be a prospectively designed and controlled study (including randomised controlled trials, pseudo-randomised controlled trials, non-randomised controlled trials or prospective cohort studies) OR a systematic review of prospectively designed and controlled studies;
- be publicly available in English;
- include participants with a particular clinical condition;
- evaluate the effectiveness of homeopathy for the treatment of that clinical condition or the treatment of the clinical side effects of another intervention;
- include a comparison group (placebo, no homeopathy or other treatment); and
- report on clinically relevant outcomes.