Protestors’ homeopathic overdose was “grossly irresponsible”

More than 400 homeopathy sceptics staged a series of “mass homeopathic overdoses” outside branches of Boots last week.

The group ‘10.23 Homeopathy: There’s Nothing In It’ say they held the event to protest at the high street chemist’s “continuing endorsement and sale of homeopathic remedies”. They used the mass ‘overdose’ to “show the public that the homeopathic remedies have nothing in them”.

A spokesperson for the event told The Guardian: “We believe it is unethical for the government and Boots —as a registered pharmacist — to continue to support what is essentially an 18th century magic ritual.”

But Paul Bennett, professional standards director and superintendent pharmacist for Boots UK, said that homeopathy was recognised by the NHS and that all Boots pharmacists followed guidance on homeopathy issued by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.

The British Homeopathic Association (BHA) has dismissed the 10:23 protest as a “grossly irresponsible stunt”. In a statement on its website, the BHA said:

“To suggest in public that taking an overdose of a medicine is a good way of testing its effectiveness gives an extremely dangerous message to the public. It also shows that the participants have no understanding about how to select and use homeopathic remedies in an appropriate manner.

“The claims of 10:23 ring hollow indeed. The evidence base for homeopathy is gradually increasing. There are well over 100 double blind trials in homeopathy and more are positive than negative. This is in spite of the many difficulties encountered squeezing a holistic and individualised treatment into a strictly controlled trial methodology.