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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Study Shows Homeopathy Can Reduce Health Care Cost

A study published in the archives of Family Medicine 1998;7:537-40 by Jennifer Jacobs, M.D. showed that physicians using homeopathy spent more time than the national average with each patient, but ordered fewer tests and prescribed fewer conventional medicines. This study compliments data published in France, where 40% of the physicians use homeopathic medicine in their daily practice.

According to a 1991 report published by the French government, the total cost associated with homeopathic care per physician was about half of that associated with conventional physicians. On a per patient basis, homeopathic care costs 15% less. A 1996 French report on prescription costs found that homeopathic medicines account for 5% of all medicines prescribed in France, though they represent only 1.2% of all drug reimbursements due to their lower cost per prescription.

It was also noted in this report that patients under the care of homeopathic physicians took fewer sick days (3.5 times fewer) than those under the care of conventional general practitioners. Dr. Jacobs stated, “when our study is matched with the French government reports, we can see the possibility of remarkable cost savings associated with the practice of homeopathy.” Dr. Jacobs went on to say that “this possibility is underscored by the fact that homeopathic physicians in America often treat chronic problems, such as allergies, arthritis, and digestive problems, which tend to be extremely costly to treat in conventional ways.”

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