Reply to the letter to the editor “The report ‘Homeopathy in healthcare: effectiveness, appropriateness, safety, costs’ is not a ‘Swiss report’”


David Martin Shaw


I appreciate the correction of some minor errors in the historical aspects of my article.

When I stated that the Swiss government “published” the report, I simply meant that they commissioned the original report and made it available on their website, which Dr Gurtner concedes is correct. However, at no point in my article did I claim that “the Swiss government wanted homeopathy and other CAM methods to be evaluated at lower than usual standards in order to receive a certain result”; I merely pointed out that the authors applied lower standards in their assessment of the evidence.

I may have overstated the effect of the report within Switzerland. However, the effect of the report outside Switzerland is substantial and enduring; proponents of homeopathy all over the world continue to proclaim the “Swiss Government’s report on homeopathy” as objective proof that homeopathy is effective.