The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released a policy statement explaining that from now on, all over-the-counter (OTC) homeopathic drugs will have to come with a label clearly stating that they do not work.
Homeopathy is a type of pseudoscience that first became popular in the 18th century, and involves treating ailments with tiny amounts of the pathogen that caused the illness in the first place. These are then diluted to the point where the medicine contains one molecule of active ingredient for every 1,000 billion billion billion molecules of water. The solution is then either taken in liquid form or mixed with sugar and made into a pill.
Despite what homeopaths say and believe, there has never been any scientific evidence to support the idea that these treatments cure any kind of ailments, and recent studies have thoroughly debunkedany claims that they work. On the contrary, many doctors are extremely concerned by homeopathy, as it is sometimes used instead of genuine medication for certain medical conditions.
Yet the jig appears to be up for homeopathy, after the FTC announced that it will finally start to enforce a regulation that it introduced way back in 1972, requiring all claims of product efficacy to be substantiated. Amazingly, it has never cracked down on the manufacturers of useless OTC drugs in the past, but has decided to toughen up following a recent workshop looking at how these products are marketed to consumers.
As a consequence, all homeopathic drugs will now have to come with a label clearly explaining that “there is no scientific evidence that the product works and [that] the product’s claims are based only on theories of homeopathy from the 1700s that are not accepted by most modern medical experts.”
While this doesn’t mean that pharmacies will be required to stop selling homeopathic products, it should at least ensure that less consumers are duped into using them.