In March 2015, NHMRC, the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, published an Information Paper on homeopathy, which is often referred to as “the Australian report”. This claimed that there was no reliable evidence that homeopathy is effective.
1. However, when the report was sent for independent peer review, the Australasian Cochrane centre wrote that “..No reliable evidence does not seem an accurate reflection of the body of evidence”. This was due to:
“A substantial proportion of small (but good quality studies) show significant differences.”
2. In addition, a Freedom of Information request revealed that there was a previous report conducted in 2012 which has yet to be published, and which was rejected because it was poor quality, despite having been undertaken by a reputable scientist who wrote the NHMRC’s own guidelines on how to conduct evidence reviews!
3. The report claims to be based on over 1800 studies but is in fact based on 5 studies. They chose a quality score of 5 on the jdad quality scale (which is out of 5). This is pretty much unprecedented in studies by NHMRC, and they were able to discard most trials this way. From the 176 remaining studies, they chose a cut off of at least 150 participants. Despite the fact that NHMRC routinely includes studies with less.
4. Of the 176 trials considered, 171 were thus completely disregarded, leaving only 5 trials that were considered ‘reliable’ for the report, all of which ‘happened to be negative’.
5. Professor P. Brooks, the Chair of the NHMRC committee that conducted the review, initially failed to declare that he was a member of the anti-homeopathy lobby group ‘Friends of Science in Medicine’. He clearly just forgot?
6. How many homeopathy experts were on the committee? Zero. In direct violation of NHMRCs own guidelines.
As an organisation representing many patients who use homeopathy successfully all over Europe, EFHPA wholly rejects the claims of the NHMRC and calls for further independent evidence and research in homeopathy.
We urge all our members to join the campaign calling for an inquiry into the NHMRC paper. https://www.yourhealthyourchoice.com.au/