“Conventional medicine is proven – homeopathy isn’t”
This is a commonly held belief, but in fact the situation is not nearly so clear cut.
Whether we are discussing conventional or homeopathic medicine, science is much more of a grey area than we might wish.
Analysis by the British Medical Journal’s (BMJ) Clinical Evidence1 shows that just 11% of 3,000 commonly used NHS treatments are known to be beneficial:
The amount of research carried out in conventional medicine is vast compared with the relatively new field of homeopathy research, but when you look at the balance of evidence – the percentage of trials which are positive, negative or inconclusive – they are remarkably similar for the two disciplines.
Research must continue in all fields to help policy makers, patients and clinicians make the best possible decisions, but at the moment, many decisions cannot be based on scientific evidence, because there is just insufficient data.
BMJ Clinical Evidence, Efficacy Categorisations. 2017. Available from http://clinicalevidence.bmj.com/x/set/static/cms/efficacy-categorisations.html [Accessed 25 Sept 2017]