Boiron produces flawed study on homeopathy treatment for migraine in children

Boiron Laboratories, a world leader in homeopathic medicine manufacturing, has published a study regarding
homeopathic treatment of migraine in children
.

What would you expect the conclusions to be?

But, of course!

The results of this study demonstrate the interest of homeopathic medicines for the prevention and treatment of migraine attacks in children. A significant decrease in the frequency, severity, and duration of migraine attacks was observed and, consequently, reduced absenteeism from school.

“[D]emonstrate the interest”? What does that mean?

As you also might guess, there are problems with the study – sample size, the stated goal of the study, lack of controls, unwarranted conclusions. Dr. Edzard Ernst has a look.
Boiron’s new study of homeopathy | Edzard Ernst.

Debunking flawed homeopathy studies is not what I aim for or spend my time on. Yet this study, I thought, does deserve a brief comment.

Why? Because it has exemplary flaws, because it reflects on homeopathy as a whole as well as on the journal it was published in (the top publication in this field), because it is Boiron-authored, because it produced an obviously misleading result, because it could lead many migraine-sufferers up the garden path [...] [...]the Boiron-authors conclude that “the results of this study demonstrate the interest of homeopathic medicines for this prevention and treatment of migraine attacks in children”. This is an utterly bizarre statement, as it does not follow from the study’s data at all.

But the study is published. That’s all they need. No one will notice all the critique against it. They will cite this research in their claims as positive evidence. If this study is so poor, why was it published in the first place?

  2 comments for “Boiron produces flawed study on homeopathy treatment for migraine in children

  1. Leper
    November 11, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    This article was published in the Sept 2012 issue of the The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Other articles in that issue include “Preliminary Trial of Aloe Vera Gruel on HIV Infection”, “Effect of Biofield Therapy in the Human Brain”, “Analysis of Multifrequency Impedance of Biologic Active Points Using a Dry Electrode System” and “Acupuncture for Shoulder Pain After Stroke: A Systematic Review “. The abstracts for all the published articles are freely available and if you’re a skeptical reader you probably won’t be surprised by their content.

    • Rand
      November 13, 2012 at 11:07 AM

      In other words, A pseudo-science article was published in a pseudo-science journal… Seeing it listed in “US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health” website actually had me thinking a reputable publication had published it, rather than a flim-flam publication.

      The real question is: Why are articles from a pseudo-science mag even listed by a real health information database?

Comments are closed.