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Who Regulates Homeopathy? What Role Does the FDA Play?

The Homeopathy Choice Insider

Hello! Welcome to the 13th edition of the Homeopathy Choice Insider.  We’re so glad you’ve joined us!  Every Monday, we bring you a closer look at what goes on behind the scenes at Americans for Homeopathy Choice as we diligently work to protect your access to homeopathic medicines.  

If you’d like to read the summary of today’s report, scroll down to the end of this post!

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Outline:

  • The FDA regulates homeopathic medicines.
  • Individual states regulate the practice of homeopathy and determine which homeopathic medicines can be sold in the US.
  • They enforce labeling rules.
  • There’s a lot of confusion about what exactly is a homeopathic medicine.
  • The American Institute of Homeopathy is working on a certification system.
  • 11 states are protected by Health Freedom Laws.
  • Licensed physicians can prescribe homeopathic medicines.
  • Naturopaths are licensed in 26 states and territories.

 

Our job is not to change the world;

our job is to steward the gifts we’ve been given.

Summary of Today’s Episode:

Who regulates homeopathy?

Welcome again to Homeopathy Choice Insider, where we give you up-to-date information about the state of homeopathy in America and tips on how you can help promote and protect homeopathy for ourselves and future generations.  I’m Paola Brown, president of Americans for Homeopathy Choice.  Today, I’m talking about how homeopathy is regulated.  Now, people who’ve been following our Insider series certainly know that the FDA regulates homeopathic medicines.  States, however, regulate the practice of homeopathy.  Just remember that the federal government regulates medicines; the states regulate practice.  This is true for practically all types of health care.   

Let’s start with the FDA.  The FDA inspects manufacturers of homeopathic medicines, is charged with enforcing labeling rules, and determines which homeopathic medicines can be sold in the United States.  We at the Insider know that the FDA has not really completed its responsibility to police homeopathy labeling carefully or at all.  That means many products claiming to be homeopathic actually aren’t.  To help address this, the American Institute of Homeopathy is working on a certification system that will allow manufacturers to place a seal on products deemed to meet homeopathic standards.  That will be a big plus for consumers and practitioners trying to sort through the many products already

in the marketplace.  Because the states regulate the practice of homeopathy, those who value homeopathy in our lives need to pay attention to what our state government is doing. 

Fortunately, in 11 states, homeopathy practitioners are protected by what is called Health Freedom Laws.  If you live in one of these states, you’re covered:

Arizona

California

Colorado

Idaho

Louisiana

Maine

Minnesota

Nevada

New Mexico

Oklahoma

Rhode Island

Health Freedom Laws in these states cover a wide range of natural and alternative health care practitioners, including homeopaths.  They allow homeopaths to practice without having to get a license so long as they clearly convey to clients their qualifications and the fact that they are not licensed health care professionals.

In all other states, it’s wise for unlicensed homeopathy practitioners to do the same two things.  But their ability to practice is undefined and easier for opponents of homeopathy to challenge.  In three states—Arizona, Connecticut, and Nevada—licensed physicians can be certified as homeopathic physicians.  Licensed physicians in all states have the right to prescribe homeopathic medicines as they would any other drug. 

Naturopaths are licensed in 26 states and territories.  In all other places, they practice unlicensed, just as most homeopathy practitioners do across the country.  And, of course, many naturopathic physicians use homeopathy in their practice.

Alright!  That’s it for this week.  Come back next week when we talk about naturopathic doctors and how they use homeopathy.  

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