In US, many people lost their sense of smell using Zicam nasal spray, a cold remedy they thought would be safer than other medicines because it was sold as homeopathic (!!). Zicam’s homeopathic label allowed it to be marketed for a decade without a review for safety or effectiveness by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Homeopathic products — over-the-counter remedies that use plant, mineral or animal derivatives — don’t need marketing clearance from the FDA under U.S. rules.
Several reports to the FDA and Zicam’s maker, Matrixx International Inc., showed the Zicam nasal sprays and swabs may have caused more than 900 people to lose their sense of smell. The company recalled all such products on June 16, 2009.
This incidence in US has highlighted a need for more stringent checks on homeopathic products… (and homeopathy, homeopaths also)
I would like your attention to the similar situation in India:
- Do we have OTC in homeopathy ??
- What rules govern their sales ??
- How strong GMP regulations are ??
- Clinical trials records of all patents in homeopathy ??
- Effective recall system in India in adverse situation ??
In my early years of private practice, I had communicated with one leading Indian homeopathic pharmaceutical company about one patent preparation. I wanted to know about the details of its clinical trial and effectiveness of the patent in the clinical condition for which this product is sold; and I received a vague reply that it was found effective in few (very low number) of patients in some doctors clinics — do you think this is the right approach to launch a medicinal product in the market.
We know that there are numerous homeopathic patents available in the market, sold without prescriptions. It is estimated that it is more than 200 million dollars market in US, and you can imagine the same potential in India. Therefore, we find hundreds of homeopathic pharmaceutical companies are coming up with their new line of products for acute and chronic health and medical conditions from common cold, obesity, height problems, diabetes, blood pressure to CANCER and all other rare disease conditions, and for wellness and beuty too. Is this Hahnemann’s homeopathy?
These pharmaceutical companies are tarnishing the image of homeopathy system, and finally virtue is at stake for a serious and genuine homeopathic practioner, and eventually homeopathy is blaimed.
In India, I never heard about any recall of any medicine. Medicines are sold without bills to chemists and other stores, and sold to patients without prescriptions and without their details. I believe it is very hard for a company to track its sale to dealers and sub dealers; and, chemists would not be able to trace out the actual users ever !
This is the hightime to brainstorm about the situation of homeopathy in 21st centuary, and first decade gone. We all know it’s time to fix our health care system.
It is the responsibilty of all homeopathic practitioners, homeopathic institues and homeopathic organisations to unite and come foreward to make this homeopathic system a viable genuine therapeutic system as laid down by its originator, inventor Dr. Samuel Hahnemann.
Dr. Anil Singhal, MD(Homeo)