Improving the evaluation of homeopathy: economic considerations and impact on health

  • Chaufferin G
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OBJECTIVES: The financial crisis of health insurance systems sometimes drives public policy-makers to take precipitate action dominated by economic imperatives. The question addressed here consists in defining homeopathy's scope of intervention, its place in health care strategies, recourse to treatment, and especially economic data appraising homeopathy's impact on expenditures and outlay covered by health insurance in France METHOD: We used the General Evaluation Model to define the study (to whom is the evaluation made, situations, criteria, measurement of these criteria, quality and precision) RESULTS: The main results are in terms of costs, as follows: * For reimbursable medicines the public sales price of homeopathic products is a quarter of the average. * The total reimbursement for a prescription of allopathic products is three times more than for a prescription of homeopathic products. * Homeopathic physicians incur annual reimbursement outlays which are half those of general practitioners. The differences observed cannot be explained by the patient profile or the diseases treated. Furthermore, a study carried out in France showed that 87% of patients whose physicians had prescribed homeopathic treatment did not see another physician for the same problem CONCLUSIONS: Once basic analysis has been done, so that the economic and epidemiological impact of a certain health strategy can be determined, it is necessary to proceed further, helping healthcare providers and public authorities to make decisions. Various possibilities exist and should be investigated

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  • *Health Care Costs

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  • G Chaufferin

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