Homeopathy: French MPs oppose reimbursement decision

Homeopathy will no longer be reimbursed by 2021, with a new open letter calling for the decision to be reversed

A group of 45 French MPs have written an open letter in favour of homeopathy and in opposition to the government’s decision this month to end all State reimbursement of the medicine by 2021.

Published by newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche (JDD) today (Sunday July 21), the letter was entitled “No to the non-reimbursement of homeopathy”.

It was signed by 45 MPs from across various political parties, including notable names Jean-François Cesarini and Blandine Brocard (who were also key dissenting voices against the government’s decision to make vaccination mandatory).

The letter said: “Homeopathy responds to a real medical need. It undeniably contributes to reduce medical consumption and therefore helps to fight against antibiotic resistance - which is recognised as a major problem in terms of human and animal health on an international scale.”

The letter called for a reversal on the government’s decision, and demanded that the medicine continue to be reimbursed by the State at the previous level of 30%.

It added: “It is difficult to accept [the decision] for this practice - which has long been recognised by authorities and the medical community, undertaken for more than 200 years by trained doctors, and became part of French pharmacy in 1965 - to suddenly be relegated to ‘fake medicine’.

“In the face of strong positions that have emerged in the public debate over the past few weeks, despite the fact that millions of French people confirm [homeopathy’s] benefits, it is interesting to ask ourselves why homeopathy upsets people so much.

“Total de-reimbursement of homeopathy will cause a high percentage of people to switch  to traditional medicine, which is more expensive and has increased risk of unwanted and secondary side effects. [We ask] the government to maintain the 30% reimbursement rate for this therapeutic method.”

The government decision to end State reimbursement of homeopathy came after a study by health authority La Haute Autorité de Santé (HAS) judged that the medicine did not demonstrate “sufficient effectiveness” to justify the cost.

From January 1 2020, the medicine will be reimbursed at 15%, dropping to 0% by January 2021.

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