Homeopathy in Healthcare – Effectiveness, Appropriateness, Safety, Costs

An HTA report on homeopathy as part of the Swiss Complementary Medicine Evaluation Programme

– Gudrun Bornhöft and Peter F. Matthiessen

Information from Publisher

This volume includes the full Health Technology Assessment (HTA) report on effectiveness, appropriateness, safety and costs of homoeopathy in health care. The report was commissioned by the Swiss health authorities to inform decision-making on the further inclusion of homoeopathy in the list of services covered by statutory health insurance. Other studies carried out as part of the Swiss Complementary Medicine Evaluation Programme (PEK) caused a massive stir due to their schematic and exclusively quantitative (negative-)outcomes for homoeopathy.

The present report, in contrast, offers a differentiated evaluation of the practice of homoeopathy in health care. It confirms homoeopathy as a valuable addition to the conventional medical landscape – a status it has been holding for a long time in practical health care.

Content Level » Professional/practitioner

Keywords » HTA – Swiss Complementary medicine

Related subjects » Complementary & Alternative Medicine – Pharmaceutical Science

The PDF for this book is available for online viewing or purchase from publisher, Springerlink:  Fulltext – SpringerLink.


The characteristic features of homeopathy are its particular drug therapy and application, its drug provings on the healthy subject, the development of its pharmacology, the case-taking and exact observation of the individual patient’s symptoms and idiosyncrasies, the conclusions drawn from numerous individual healing processes and its extended treatment target. All these aspects result in an approach that is fundamentally different, in theory and practice, from mainstream medicine. While both systems are based on exact empirical observation, their methods of observation and interpretation differ. In mainstream medicine, treatment is based on the clinical diagnosis while the symptoms displayed by the individual patient play a lesser role. In homeopathy, on the other hand, the choice of medication depends on the totality of symptoms and signs displayed by the individual patient. The clinical diagnosis is important for assessing the medical situation but has little bearing on the choice of remedy. Administering homeopathic remedies and mixtures merely on the basis of a clinical diagnosis goes against the principles of homeopathy.