Position Statement from the American Association of Homeopathic Pharmacists (AAHP) Regarding Avian Flu H5N1
The recent news articles regarding Avian Flu H5N1 (Bird Flu) have been widespread. The virulence of the strain among birds and its implications for pandemic disease in humans has led to increased interest in homeopathic treatments for Bird Flu.
The American Association of Homeopathic Pharmacists (AAHP), representing the major manufacturers and distributors of homeopathic drugs, wishes to inform the public of its view of the sale of homeopathic medication to prevent or treat Avian Flu.
There is no homeopathic literature, nor clinical trials, which adequately support a homeopathic drug for use as prophylaxis for Avian flu. In addition, any product labeled for prophylaxis of flu is prescription in nature, according to FDA´s drug labeling guidelines, and is an inappropriate use of any product sold over the counter (OTC or nonprescription).
Appropriate use of homeopathic medicine according to the principle of similars involves the matching of symptoms in the diseased state with those symptoms caused by a specific substance in its homeopathic drug proving. As such, homeopathic medicines are used principally for the treatment of presented symptoms and are less associated with the causative agent of those symptoms. Thus, of importance are the symptoms manifested in the individual as a result of the ‘flu’ rather than the agent that caused the symptoms. The literature supports the use of several homeopathic medicines for symptoms of fever, chills, diarrhea and cough, among others. The inherent difficulty with matching the changing strains of influenza make it virtually impossible to assess the usefulness a particular strain within that same year or region of disease proliferation. In addition, Avian flu has been characterized by symptoms of rapid and profound onset often resulting in serious negative outcomes even under professional care.
Accordingly, the AAHP makes clear its position that websites and marketers selling homeopathic medicines as OTC products for epidemic and infectious diseases, in general including Avian Flu, may be in violation of federal and state law.
When properly employed by trained medical professionals, some homeopathic medicines have been shown to be useful in epidemic disease. However, most infectious diseases require medical intervention, because an absolute confirmation of infection with a particular disease-causing organism requires laboratory testing. Infectious diseases may not be self-limiting and require medical diagnosis or monitoring. In light of the foregoing, it is inappropriate for a homeopathic drug product to be sold OTC while being promoted in any way for any such infectious disease.