One thing to remember about research is it is just a method of answering questions. It gets fetishized–people turn it into an end in itself, which it shouldn’t be. So, the question really is, “What is your question?” If your question is, “Can homeopathic dilutions really do anything?” then actually the randomized controlled trial is an expensive, difficult way of answering it. I’ve done many of them, and there is an awful lot that can go wrong.
If your question is, “Is this stuff placebo or not?” then there is a strong argument that randomized trials are actually an expensive way of answering that question and you would do much better with a biological model [i.e., in vitro laboratory study].On the other hand if your question is “Does homeopathy make a useful, cost-effective therapy or fill an effectiveness gap in health care?” then you need some kind of, observational or controlled clinical study which might be randomized or cohort. The difference being “observational” means you just watch the patients and watch what happens–it is completely uncontrolled. Cohort study means you compare it, but it is not randomized.
click here for the full interview: An Interview with Peter Fisher | World of Homeopathy.
Dr Peter Fisher is physician to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, as well as both Clinical and Research Director of the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine–the largest public sector provider of holistic medicine in Europe (formerly called the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital).
Of at least equal importance is that for the past 25 years he has served as editor-in-chief of the journal Homeopathy, the only MEDLINE-indexed homeopathic journal. MEDLINE is the medical research database of the US National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health and is considered the gold standard of published medical research. In his role as editor of the journal and author of numerous published studies, Peter brings to homeopathy what it so richly deserves–serious consideration, assessment, and refinement by the most rigorous methods of science.
Trained at elite Cambridge University, Peter is qualified in both homeopathy and rheumatology and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. (The Royal College is the oldest medical society in the world; Fellowship is a select honor bestowed by Royal College peers.) He is also a Fellow of the Faculty of Homeopathy (The Faculty, established in 1844 and incorporated by an act of British Parliament in 1950, regulates the education, training, and practice of homeopathy by the medical profession in the UK). Peter is a member of the World Health Organization’s Expert Advisory Panel on Traditional and Complementary Medicine, and he chaired the WHO’s working group on homeopathy.