Open letter to Health Minister Spahn on the continuation of the reimbursement of homeopathy in the SHI

Peanuts with miniature workers figures - allegory to Minister Spahn's decision criticed in the article
Peanuts … ?!?

Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn declared yesterday, 17.09.2019, that he would adhere further to the reimbursability of homeopathy by the statutory health insurance funds. He cited the comparatively marginal costs compared to the total expenditure of the SHI funds, i.e. the sufficiently strained “peanuts” argument, as the reason for this.

There are undoubtedly only bad reasons for Mr. Spahn’s decision, but this is undoubtedly the worst of all. We will see how politicians and other groups react. We, for our part, feel obliged to respond to his decision in the form of an open letter to Mr Spahn:

 

Header of the Open Letter: Logo of the Information Network Homeopathy

 

Information Network Homeopathy
We clarify – you have the choice!

 

18.09.2019

Mr
Federal Minister for Health
Jens Spahn
by e-mail

Dear Federal Minister Spahn,

From your statement of 17.09.19 we have learned that you have decided not to exclude homeopathy from the benefits of statutory health insurance. In our opinion, you are basing your decision on an aspect which is ultimately irrelevant and which has never been or is the subject of scientific criticism of homeopathy.

Of course, we regard every single euro for homeopathy as an unjustified use of contributions from the solidarity community and not as “peanuts”. However, the reasons underlying the demand for an end to reimbursement and ultimately the questioning of the property as medicine of homeopathic products are quite different and far more important. With your decision and its justification, you give room not least to an increasing hostility to science and facts, the effects of which you then try to recapture elsewhere with a compulsory vaccination.

    • It is not understandable for us that homeopathy continues to be supported politically, contrary to the clear scientific situation, which is not affected in any way by the constant interventions of the homeopathic lobby. Homeopathy has no specific medicinal effect and therefore no medical relevance. It is full of internal and external contradictions and thus incompatible with the valid and proven scientific view of the world.
    • As a method that is at best capable of producing a placebo effect and that ascribes its successes to her method itself altough natural disease processes and the body’s self-healing abilities do the work, it must no longer enjoy a public reputation in the interest of patients. This public reputation was wrongly granted to it for decades, resulting in a completely distorted image in the public. By declaring that you will not touch the reimbursability, you are perpetuating this instead of necessarily finally counteracting it. Unfortunately, the effects will not be limited to homeopathy, but will more or less benefit the entire field of “alternative medicine” means and methods.
    • Conveying the impression that homeopathy is effective medicine is not only dishonest towards patients, it is also dangerous. We have no doubt that every day people suffer unnecessary pain, disease progression is prolonged, effective therapies are delayed or in the worst case even prevented – not in every case with a “spectacular” outcome, undoubtedly, but not to be accepted, since avoidable. As a rule, these cases remain in the dark, and their effects are not reflected in homeopathic statistics, but in the case and death statistics of the “orthodox medicine”, which is so poorly estimated. The responsibility of politics for the public good should be remembered here. We are talking about patient protection, Minister!
    • The fact that this also applies to so-called medical homeopathy, which is represented by the German Central Association of Homeopathic Physicians, can be seen from the lectures which it allows under its direction at its annual medical congresses. Treatment of cancer, AIDS, HPV infections, ADHD and more are the spectacular rule, not the exception.
    • We also don’t want to hide the fact that you counteract the many years of educational work of the scientifically founded homeopathy criticism with your statement per homeopathy reimbursement. Homeopathy propaganda, which we oppose daily with our educational work, regains credibility.
    • Allow us to make a few remarks on the pecuniary aspect without trying to relativize its subordinate importance.
      Perhaps it has not become quite clear to you how contradictory the cost aspect is dealt with. On the one hand, it is said to be a matter of peanuts, but on the other hand, a change in the reimbursement system is exaggerated into an affair of enormous – also economic – significance.
      Moreover, there are fundamental doubts as to whether the amount you mentioned fully covers the costs of homeopathy.
      The amount you mentioned does not include the regular benefits for homeopathic treatment of children and adolescents and, above all, not the expenses for medical remuneration for homeopathic services, both of which, to our knowledge, are not statistically recorded.
      According to Witt/Ostermann’s investigations, patients with an affinity for homeopathy consistently incur higher health insurance costs. The collective of more than 22,000 patients of a large health insurance company alone caused direct additional costs of almost 35 million euros in the first 18 months. This can surely be transferred to other health insurance companies. We leave it up to your imagination how this will look like when the majority of patients with an affinity for homeopathy will reach a higher age with higher risks for chronic illnesses.
      Beyond these concrete points, however, it should also be taken into account that follow-up costs – in the medical as well as in the economic field – are to be expected as a result of therapy delays due to disease patterns developing factually untreated.
      Even if one is inclined to view the argumentation with the allegedly low costs in isolation, it is nevertheless based on at least an incomplete consideration and cannot therefore be valid on its own.

We would like to draw your attention to neighbouring European countries such as England, France and Spain, which are clearly scientifically oriented and unimpressed by the protest and demagogy of the homeopathy lobby. In these countries the responsible authorities proceed according to the clear scientific findings and in the sense of patient protection. From there, some initiatives for an amendment of the EU Medicines Directive are launched in order to end the false attribution of medicinal properties to homeopathy at this level. How should Germany position itself in this discussion?

As an organisation that has played a leading role in the discourse of science-based criticism on homeopathy in Germany since 2016, we feel obliged to make these comments. We regret your decision and cannot follow it. We will continue our criticism and continue to pursue the goal of giving homeopathy the role that is appropriate for it: that of one of the many methods that are well-known, partly popular and will certainly remain available, but which are specifically ineffective and therefore cannot be the subject of legal privileges and health care in a public solidarity system.

Yours sincerely
Information Network Homeopathy – INH


The above Open Letter is an opinion of the Homeopathy Information Network, but it is open for co-signature by all those who share the positions expressed therein.

Who would like to co-sign with name / title and place of residence, can explain this gladly by Mail to info@netzwerk-homoeopathie.info We will only use the data provided for this purpose and will not pass on any further data, such as e-mail addresses, to third parties.

This is the list of the named co-signatories, which is constantly supplemented:

1.281 Mitunterzeichner
1.281 Co-signers
Dr. med. Natalie Grams, HeidelbergDr. Ing. Norbert Aust, Schopfheim
Dr. med. Christian Lübbers, WeilheimDr. med. vet. Rolf Wagels, Hannover
Prof. Edzard Ernst, CambridgeAmardeo Sarma, Roßdorf
Bettina Frank, KielDr. Theodor Much, Baden (Österreich)
Udo Endruscheit, EssenSusanne Aust, Schopfheim
Dr. med. Jan Oude-Aost, DresdenStefan Schwarz, München
Prof. Dr. Rudolf Happle, FreiburgDr. Christian Weymayr, Herne
Johannes Köbberling, WuppertalDipl.-Med. Jens-Uwe Köhler, FA für Kinder- und Jugendmedizin, Erkner
Michael Scholz, KronachStefan Kirsch, Erlangen
Iris Hundertmark, Apothekerin, Weilheim Dr. Markus Seidel, Münster
Dr. Michael Jachan, St. Pölten, ÖsterreichOliver Rautenberg, Bochum
Dr. med. Oliver Harney, Bietingheim-BissingenDrs. Sabine Breiholz, Berlin
Nanea Taylor, PhD, HamburgDr. Benedikt Matenaer, Bocholt
Dipl.-Phys. Hans Pfeufer, BerlinKai Rabus, Berlin
Dr. Holm Gero Hümmler, Bad HomburgHolger von Rybinski, München
Oliver Demmert, DüsseldorfDipl.-Pharm. Viola Stuppe, München
Dr. med. Wolfgang Vahle, PaderbornDr. med. Dipl.-Psych.
Claudia Nowack, Münster
Prof. Dr. Jutta Hübner, JenaChristoph Zeitschel, Laatzen
Dipl.-Biologe Thomas Hülseberg, OytenProf. Dr. med. Harald J. Schneider, München
Prof. Dr. phil. Peter Brugger, Valens (Schweiz)Annika Harrison, Siegburg
Dr. Rainer Rosenzweig, NürnbergMechthild Zimmermann, Essen
Marc Zimmermann, EssenProf. Michael Bach, Freiburg
Michaela Kopitzsch, WarsteinDr. Stephanie Dreyfürst, Frankfurt am Main
Burkhard Rittinghaus, KelsterbachUlrich Maas, Berlin-Zehlendorf
Markus Endruscheit, EssenDr. Franz Kass, Willich
Bettina Meyer-Ried, HünstettenDipl.-Biologin Ariane Ullrich, Zossen
Marc Weisener, BensheimDominik Andree, Altenstadt / WN
Jan Sajfutdinow, LeipzigDr. Petra Nass, München
Arne Meusel, MünchenDipl. Phys. Mauro Venier, Auerbach in der Oberpfalz
Dr. med. Tilman Schwilk, Schramberg
Dittmar Graf, Dortmund
Gudrun Borghardt, MünsterElvis Ilić, Aystetten
Kirsten Evers, HamburgDorothea Koehler, Hamburg
Natalie Bäumler, IsmaningRobert Dettmann, Dortmund
Christoph Schwalb, GundelfingenFrank Unfried, Greifswald
Annika Rupsch, NortorfTorsten Falldorf, Nienburg / Weser
Florian Craß, SinsheimClaudia Teubner, Leipzig
Dr. Cyril Robert Brosch, BerlinJens Friedberger, Golmbach
Patricia B. Morena, GardingSven John, Reinbek
Fabian Link, Halle (Saale)Juraj Halfmann, Karlstadt
David Lehmann, PlüderhausenThomas Schultheis, Dortmund
Dominic Zander, EssenDr. Anne Hauswald, Salzburg (Österreich)
Lisa Freydenberger, Stein bei NürnbergFlorian Wombacher, Nürnberg
Dr. Christine Prager, Berlin (Charité)Udo Hilwerling, Paderborn
Mathias Kluge, RostockManuela Glock, Großrosseln
Tobias Maier, KarlsruheSarah Tipp, Hannover
Thomas Brass, SaarbrückenMarcel Lehmann, Lehre
Jeanine Heise, LeimenAndreas Linnemann, Dortmund
Arne Rabens, WalsrodeDr. Hans Rohnert, München
Martina Dickel, DortmundJulian Krabs, Wuppertal
Sarah Kabisch, Ärztin, HamburgDr. Jens Jäger, Aachen
Florian Makilla, FreisingDietrich Schwarz, Biedenkopf
Korbinian Plock, MünchenLothar Küpper, Kiel
Patricia Hübscher-Mahr, BerlinSabrina Schlupp, Fladungen
Christian Rohdenburg, MünsterSusann Rohdenburg, Münster
Björn Erichsen, HamburgYvonne Krause, München
Dörte Faatz, RatingenMonika Höfig, Ludwigsburg
Jörg Seidel, HamburgAndreas Hönig, Magstadt
Frank Bürkle, FellbachClaudia Koch, Ilmenau
Dr. Stefan Gawrich, WetzlarSören Trotzauer, Chemnitz
Gerd Engelmann, Lutherstadt WittenbergKai Grünler, Plauen
Ralf Layher, Edingen-Neckarhausen Benjamin Reschke, München
Sebastian Reichmann, FintelStephanie Loritz, Saarbrücken
Frank Busch, EssenRobert Scharf, Dresden
Dr. Rachel Cohen, BerlinStefan Georg Murk, Nürnberg
Britt Salewski, KölnMichael Lupp, Eslohe
André Steinhäuser, Barkow Robert Miglo, Böblingen
Mustafa Aydemir, Schwäbisch HallTobias Konhäuser, Lörzweiler
Sebastian von Saldern, BerlinMarcel Juhnke, Hof
Timur Gercek, OberurselUwe Nürnberger, Bürgel
Hendrik Kranert-Rydzy , MichendorfStefan Thaens, Lutherstadt Wittenberg
Mario Löhr, KoblenzIsabel Schneider, Gröbenzell
Lars Eckhoff, LeverkusenRobert Stähling, Haltern am See
Thierry Lubin, TeupitzSven Markus, Nürnberg
Dr. Tobias Fromme, NandlstadtJan Euteneuer, Kiel
Simon Felix Schmidt, PrisdorfDr. Sandra Kampling, Hamburg
Markus Grabicher, Rosengarten-NenndorfJens Herforth, Berlin
Andreas Horneber, IllesheimAxel Nennker, Potsdam
Dirk Hartmann, DeensenWolfgang Becker-Freyseng, München
Rebecca Narr, DüsseldorfNis Wechselberg, Kiel
Dr. Elisabeth Grunwald, GautingKatja Meixner, Hoyerswerda
Matthias Parthesius, HamburgMiriam Erwe, Aachen
Andreas Leutenmayr, BuchloeFerdinand Schultz, Beckdorf
Mirko Ernst, MeckenheimDipl. Psych. Thore Zuber, Fürth im Wald
Christian Dannat-Meinicke, BördelandMatthias Wagner, Hamburg
Sven Löffler, ChemnitzChristina Tessmer, Chemnitz
Tristan Rippel, LeipzigChristian Wilkens, Bremen
Michael Kraft, HerbertingenKai Steger, Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Leona Kater, HerfordNina Grimme, Hannover
Stefanie Piechulek, Bad OeynhausenEike Kappelhoff, Guntersblum
Mario Gedes, Osterholz-ScharmbeckDaniel Kasmeroglu, Berlin
Kai Rottleb, HaßlebenSaskia Thau, Mainz
Max Stärz, DarmstadtPatrick Werner, Mannheim
Daniela Tauber, SchierlingAnne Tietz, Drachhausen
Dr. phil. Daniel Friedrich, LeipzigDavid Kater, Hamburg
Patrick Dubbrow, Bad SchönbornCand. med. Jens-Markus Thomsen
Ralf Zeigermann, WischhafenNadja Eifrig, Plauen
Volker Kraus, DattenbergDaniel Oster, Montabaur
Falko Helfer, LeipzigRingo Paulusch, Berlin
Steffen Laible, LudwigsburgRolf Rosenbaum, Langenfeld (Rhld.)
PD Dr. med. Bastian Grande, Zürich (Schweiz)Dr. Jonathan Meyer, Ulmet
Andreas Steinau, UlmAndré Kazmierczak, Lünen
Till Fischer, GilchingJohanna Roth, Baden-Baden
Dr. Matthias Englmann, FriedbergFranz Tröstl, München
Christian Knitter, Marburg
Wolfgang Keil, Bayreuth
Ralf Pirle, AltenstadtLasse Einig, Hamburg
Nils Treu, MindenJanine Pahl, Oberkrämer
Tobias Lang, BerlinBernhard Kroeker, Nidderau
Sylvia Leinemann, KasselSören Krüger, Heidelberg
Steffen Hatzelmann, EschauTristan Bartsch, Frankfurt am Main
Udo Gath, StolbergDr. rer. medic. Johannes Hüsing, Heidelberg
Michael Küper, LüdenscheidChristian Hawel, Berlin
Mag. rer. nat. Dipl.-Psych. Alexander Lorenz, IlsenburgUwe Wein, Oberwinter
Dana Buchzik, BerlinTheodor Olbing, Grevenbroich
Dr. rer. nat. Stefan Bauer, BerlinNabard Faiz, Marburg
Inga Sauer, DortmundBirgit Richter, Hamburg
Wolfgang Gross, WedelSophia Trott, Frankfurt
Sabine Haupt, HeidelbergNadine Hotze, Sondershausen
Martin C. Hoehne, CuxhavenAnna Sonnenburg, M.Sc. (Toxikologie), Charité, Berlin
Dr. med. Pauline Villwock, EberswaldeStephanie Wieland, Hamburg
Peter Klausner, AschaffenburgNiklas Schreiber, Hamburg
Daniela Keßler, MülheimBenjamin Beeker, Bochum
Markus Lauf, WedelJens Schüler, Berlin
Dr. phil. Marc Fabian Buck, BerlinSeverin Tatarczyk, Bonn
Vera Sauer, WiesbadenThomas Freise, Garbsen
Frank Elsner, BerlinMads Gundesen, Hamburg
Christoph Liedel, BonnSteffen Gruner, Dresden
Alexander Riedmüller, FürthRainer Schönen, Bad Honnef
Martin Knopp, MünchenRené Haine, Oberstadtfeld
Michael Schindler, BassumSandra Nienkemper, Meiningen
Dr. med. Sebastian Schrader, KrefeldAntonia Heidelberger, Langwedel
Axel Bojanowski, HamburgDr. rer. nat. Roland Gromes, Heidelberg
Andreas Decker, FreisingUwe Hunz, Dortmund
Svenja Hunz, DortmundJanusz Ingwersen, HNO-Arzt, Kiel
Martina Große, KannawurfSebastian Platz, Wiesbaden
Patrick Dohle, WuppertalMarcus Kuba, Leonberg
Emil Manthey, Halle (Saale)Adrian Kirchner M.Sc., Großheirath
Claudia Schertel, FürthAlois Becker, Bonn
Elsbeth Tatarczyk-Welte, Bonn
Michael Wilke, Coesfeld
Stefanie Adam, NortorfJenny Günther, Calau
Rabea Schulte, FinnentropManuel Baumeister, Düsseldorf
Thore Brandes, OldenburgMichael Grubinski, Recklinghausen
Mark Lorenz, Berlin-SteglitzNico Harbach, Wettenberg
Jörg Schekies, WäschenbeurenVictor Starrach, Heidelberg
Andreas Brammer, DortmundDr.med.Thomas Kunkel, München
Helga Kittl, HamburgSven Becker, Cadolzburg
Frank Erfurt, PotsdamLars Wismar, Kiel
Matthias Linhuber, MünchenGregor Ottmann, Ottobrunn
Max Paul Juch, ErfurtDaniel Morgenstern, Berlin
Claus von der Decken, OldenburgJoschua Knauf, Saarbrücken
Dr. Stephan Schwarz, UlmFelix Schmäußer, Auengrund
Nadja Thies, HachenburgWiebke Lindheimer, Berlin
Achim Lindheimer, BerlinProf. Dr. Henning Höppe, Augsburg
Dr. Christopher Schnaitmann, Freiburg
Daniel Hamacher, Köln
Dr. Sandra Loohs, Dipl.-Psych., MünchenDipl.-Phys. Florian Enders, Lahnstein
Konstantin Haubner, ForchheimHendrik Amann, Mülheim (Ruhr)
Silke Wolschendorf, HamburgMarina Männle, Heidelberg
Andrea Uhde, BraunschweigCornelia Kurz, Dresden
Tobias Fischer, EssenEdwin Kobert, Melsungen
Karin Paprotta, SulzbachDr. med. Markus Stephan, Denzlingen
Dr. Wolfgang Deisser, DillingenIngrid Wesseler, Daun
Dr. Ilia Louban, HeidelbergAlexander Ulbricht, Rosenheim
Dr. rer. nat. Thomas Grehl, Münster Dr. Katrin Streubel, Marburg
Uwe Henkel, HilpoltsteinTatjana Hoenich, Oberhausen
Jona Krämer, HeidelbergInes Fischer, Feucht
Claudia Latz-Erken, NiederzierJohannes Handschick, Hamburg
Dr. med. Dr. rer. nat. Jochen Förster, EschweilerHeike Jessen, Flensburg
Eric Portugall, WiesbadenLuca Böhl, Remscheid
Simon Lorrek, Neuss-NorfSimon Zaffalon, Merchweiler
Lore Reß, WöllstadtBirgit Wehrheim, Braunschweig
Torben Michaelsen, BretstedtJohannes Merz, Dreisen
Tonio Koppe, BerlinFrauke von Welck, Bonn
Katharina Schönfeld, HannoverLennart Schönfeld, Hannover
Amadeus Brümmer, HamburgKatharina Jermolov, Wiesbaden
Nicole Weyandt, EssenJulian Erdmann, Berlin
Eugen Schmid, Zürich (Schweiz)Dr. Alexander Peltzer, Tübingen
Sebastian Becker, Bad OeynhausenChristiane Reiter, Witten
Thomas Kuntke, MeißenClaudia Kranenburg, Rhede
Dr. med. Felix L. Strübing, MünchenAlexander Afrim, Kassel
Stefan Friedrichsen, BremenMichael Nagel, Leinfelden-Echterdingen
Damian von Prondzinski, MünsterRonny Schmaler, Dresden
Dr. Sigrid Mulas, KölnSteffen Roßkamp, Langeln
Sinaida Thiel, OberurselDirk Wittmer, Remseck
Richard Hauch, HamburgBernhard Scholz, Senftenberg
Christian Horst, HamburgFelix Bauer, Würzburg
Frederik Sakuth, HamburgSebastian Offermanns, Hannover
Dr. Marc Hanefeld, BremervördeDietmar Schorzmann, Wetter
Wolfgang Reinöhl, BerlinJuliane Otte, Leipzig
Susan Drobe, HamburgManfred Koren, Koblenz
Dr. med. Sebastian Springer, FreiburgJanina Pitsch, Offenbach
Marc Dathan, FellbachHans Keller, Böhmfeld
Carmen Treulieb, Frankfurt am MainUdo Janzen, Krefeld
Matthias Alexander Spies, SaarlouisStephan Hobusch, Berlin
Sabrina König, Bad SalzuflenMarco Bahrs, Hamburg
Christian Sturm, BerlinMichael Bleeker, Emden
Moesha-Jane Eckert, KasselMoritz Wehrle, Wallisellen (Schweiz)
Dorthe Kaufmann, Rendsburg Ingo Krause, Mainz
Heidi Opitz-Bleeker, EmdenMariana Jahrow, Berlin
Charlotte Arndt, WildeshausenHarald Bartels, Sulingen
Hannes Wienke, WismarJens Hüsers, Papenburg
Anja Korb-Sura, LahnsteinDaniel Becker, Bornheim
Volker Benedikt, Villingen-SchwenningenEva-Marie Ehrke, Kiel
Alexander Poblotzki, FÄ Ortho- & Unfallchirurgie, Gera
Ann-Kathrin Williams, Erlangen
Dr. Jutta Zerres, LandshutBente Rosebrock, Buxtehude
Thomas Ehlicker, AugsburgChristoph Peppler, Dortmund
Dirk Armbrust, HamburgFrank Weber, Krefeld
Axel Lauer, BerlinDr. Hannes Müller, Haltern am See
Robert Wolter, WuppertalAndreas Böttcher, Östringen
Christian Vollrath, RavensburgStefan Bogdanski, Hauenstein
Benjamin Hensen, EinigAnna Karima Köhler, Hamburg
Timo Westphal, HamburgIris Zerger, Hainfeld
Charlie Periane, Garmisch-PartenkirchenRolf Eustergerling, Gütersloh
Christoph Heinrich, BaiersbronnDr. med. Jürgen Hinrichs, Hiddenhausen
Torsten Rossa, MainzSven Kretschmann, Berlin
Sascha Kluwe, Groß GrönauDarius Sanders, Dinslaken
Dr. med. dent. Claudia Bär, MüllheimDr. Sebastian Wucher, Laudenbach
Virginia Rademacher, AachenHeike Wechsung, Hütten
Dr. Dominik Pengel, OsnabrückBjörn Wolter, Georgsmarienhütte
Ralph Stark, BonnElmar Kirchhoff, Bielefeld
Dr. Hannes Michalek, PotsdamDirk Bodensiek, Lienen
Michael Maffei, MainzRené Fontaine, Göttingen
Jutta Radke, Langen (Hessen)Nico Weber, Radolfzell
Barbara Grün, FuldaPhilip Linnartz, Eschweiler
Annette Jost, Bad VilbelSibylle Luise Binder, Stuttgart
Dr. Renate Budde, WillichDr. Markus Mund, Heidelberg
Maik Bednarz, Südlohn-OedingMartina Müller, Zell am Main
Thomas Jansen, TönisvorstPatrik Sigwart, Bad Vilbel
Yvette Blüher, Berlin Susanne Busch, Oldenburg (NS)
Margret Lippik-Winkler, EssenSascha Patrick Huck, Schenefeld
Daniela Fois, HamburgOle Diepen, Lachendorf
Frithjof Schmeer, LüneburgDr. Cinthia Briseño, München
Alexander Neu, HamminkelnKathrin Unverdorben, Passau
Lilli Fischer, ErfurtMUDr. Viliam Masaryk, Gera
Bernhard Varnskühler, Wilhelmshaven Manuel Forstner, Sulz am Neckar
Dr. Hermann Kruppert, TrierSimon Schmelcher, Langenau
Margrit Caspers, RommerskirchenCarsten Caspers, Rommerskirchen
Enrico Helbig, TaunussteinDr.-Ing. Daniel Herrscher, Gröbenzell
Britta Stöcker, Fachärztin für Kinderheilkunde und Jugendmedizin, Bonn Josef Gangkofer, Freising
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Krohs, MünsterBrigitte Offermann, Aachen
Lars Theiß, Hamburg M.Sc. Mario Stief, Trier
Zlata Jäger, NeuhofenErik Bunert, Langenhagen
Carsten Kock, HamburgRalf Hillebrand, Paderborn
Franz-Josef Diehl, SchifferstadtJessica Kenner, Schondra/Schildeck
Dr. rer. nat. Sebastian Boegel, MainzSamantha-Emily Wolf, Bochum
Dr. med. Jan Krycki, MünsterMatthias Weghofer, Landshut
Oliver Schleelein, KulmbachDr. Jens Knauer, Greifswald
Dirk Lein, HamburgMarc Frantz, Sulzbach (Saar)
David Junge, GöttingenDr. Dorothea Kaufmann, Heidelberg
Stefan Otto, KarlsruheMartin Böck, Ingolstadt
Dr. rer. nat. Christian Soltenborn, PaderbornMonika Kreusel, Köln
Sabine Müller, Klein-Winternheim Dr. Anna Fink, Köln
Sascha Schulz, NörvenichGiulia Mryka, Wuppertal
Klaus Helmschmied, DuisburgNadine Fehr, Böblingen
Lukas Rentsch, TeterowAnnika-Kathrin Sprenger, Dortmund
Stefan Lebisch, RegensburgSebastian Braun, Schwabach
Norbert Müller, BonnDr. med. Claudia Aschenbrenner, Velden/Mittelfranken
Christian Keßen, HertenDr. Michael Geißer, Mannheim
Christian Specht, HagenAlexander Bauer, Mannheim
Anja Hennrich, Kirchheim unter Teck
Sven Ruffing, Blieskastel
Sascha Bartelt, Essen Anke De Masi, Berlin
Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Stefan Dewald, MannheimHildegard Knauf, Contwig
Johannes Knauf, ContwigDirk Winkler, Bönningheim
Henrik Zawischa, HamburgDr. rer. nat. Ingo Paulsen, Solingen
Mia Paulsen, SolingenJan Nordus, Norderstedt
Christiane Havlitschek, LörrachSibylle Kaduk, Berlin
Katharina Bröhl, Ärztin, SchwerinGero Geißlreiter, Northeim
Peter Sinnemann, WiesbadenThomas Fuchs, Frankfurt am Main
Mirko Bilz, GeraBernhard M. Frank, Zahnarzt, Schleswig
Adolf Markl, ForchheimLutz Bommel, Bad Liebenwerda
Lilian Wach, Wien (Österreich)Andreas Neuthe, Spremberg
Kathrin Kinast, RosenheimDr. rer. nat. Simon Strietholt, Essen
Stefanie Bergmeir-Hupfer, Neumarkt/OPf.Christian Roebers, Bielefeld
Ruben van Treeck, Berlin Dr. Oliver Fröhlich, Bülstedt
Dr. Stephan Arlinghaus, OberkochenClaudia Kamp, Münster
David Männle, HeidelbergSabine Mauer, Halsenbach
Dorothee Van den Hoogen-Zoerner, BüchlbergKatharina Hören, Hagen
David Schipp, Tierarzt, MünchenEva Draengler, Zerf
Marc Freudenberg, Puchheim Stefanie Hild, Waldbröl
Nils Lütke-Steinhorst, KölnRichard Havelka, Mariaposching
Benedikt Müller, PirnaKonstantin Heuchert, Mörfelden-Walldorf
Daniel Herborn, NetphenKnut Wiesel, Wedel
Claudia Schirra, Schönenberg-Kübelberg
Simone Krüger, Berlin
Björn Schmitt, Höchstadt a.d. AischPhilip Schunke, Berlin
Claudia Weber, KarlsruheStephanie Platzer, Jena
apl. Prof. Dr. med. Dipl.-Psych. Christoph Lang, HeroldsbachDr. med. David Schneider, Karlsruhe
Michael Schulz, ErlangenCornelia Beeking, Münster
Andreas Schmeidl, Frankfurt am MainChristine Fuchs, Viernheim
Alexander Graf-Brill, St. IngbertDr. Florian Pfaff, Krems (Österreich)
Astrid Holzamer, BonnDirk Kropp, Bochum
Franziska Ruppert, RegensburgDominik Rapp, Wolpertswende
Prof. Dr. Laura Seelkopf, MünchenMarco Schwan, Harthausen
Robert Wisetrit, BerlinJens Juffa, Bleichenrode
Dr. Ulrich Ernst Hackler, BottropProf. Dr. Timo Niedermayer, Halle (Saale)
Harald Milz, NeufahrnMaximilian Wiesner, München
Bettina Hutt, DuisburgEva Peters, Waldshut-Tiengen
Ralf Radke, Langen (Hessen)Sascha Hill, Hanau
Jorge Leão da Silva, BremenMarie-Caroline Schulte, Friedberg (Hessen)
Bettina Knülle, Frankfurt am MainTorsten Pohl, Fahrenzhausen
Dr. Pawel Romanczuk, BerlinMarija Tojagic, Hamburg
Markus Rabe, HasteMichael Kuhlmann, Eichwalde
Dr. Claudia Sturm, GiengenHardy Koch, Hamburg
Dr. Lena Lehmann, LeipzigAndre Veltens, Düsseldorf
Andreas Kebschull, WormsChristoph Mahlke, Wittingen
Albert Baumhauer, MeckenheimAnja Rödiger, Leipzig
Dr. Karl-A. Rinast, Ober-RamstadtMarcus Bothe, Braunschweig
Dr. David Langenberger, AugsburgTill Hofmann, Aachen
Elke Marion Utecht, Swisttal-OdendorfDr. Oliver Krüger, Berlin
Eva-Maria Richter, Zwickau Tim Wingler, Rodgau
Dipl.-Phys. Thorsten Kulak, ScharbeutzDr. Carsten Sommerfeld, Lindow
Jens Brugger, Efringen-Kirchen
Dr. med. Verena Schmidt, München
Sebastian van der Voort, WülfrathFlorian Wunderlich, Markneukirchen
Malte Koch, KleveCornelia Zeumer, Lampertheim
Ursina Zwicky Schmid, Courtelary (Schweiz)
Konrad Schiemert, Ostfildern
Marina Blumberg, AdelsenUlrich Bock, Soltau
Maja Menzenhauer, Wetter/RuhrJonas Mikulsky, Hamburg
Dr.med.vet. Caroline Blobel, Berlin-ZehlendorfKlaus Ullmann, Hamburg
Freimut Mertes, QuierschiedDr. Jochen Blom, Gießen
Martin Heller, HamburgDr. Moritz Bubeck, Ludwigsburg
Michael Schwarz, MünchenMirja Kleinschmidt, Norderstedt
Prof. Dr. Oliver Bendel, Zürich (Schweiz)Bernd Rehmke, Karlsbad
Yvonne Fritz, MeiningenDr. Ingeborg Wirries, Ronnenberg
Gerhard Baierlein, NeuendettelsauMike Opitz, Halle (Saale)
Dr. Udo Feldkamp, DuisburgM.Sc. Psych. Benjamin Lemme, Berlin
Manuel Clunie, DüsseldorfFlorian Böttinger, Böblingen
Ute Eppinger, KarlsruheDr. Claus Schertel, Freising
Isabel Schygulla, BerlinPatrick Siebold, Stuttgart
Christa Nesselrath, MeerbuschDr. Christopher Tamm, Ulm
Hagen Tillger, MünchenIngo Eitelbach, Lübeck
Prof. Dr. Matthias Teßmann, NürnbergCédric Jockel, Neu-Anspach
Dipl.-Ing. Sebastian Roth, DarmstadtChristina Nürnberger, Essen
Tom Fuhrken, RastedeJan Scharwächter, Leverkusen
Dipl.-Chem. Kerstin Dönecke, MönchengladbachRebecca Maisolle, Minden
Nicole Pflugrad, BerlinJens Rehaag, Horstmar
Ulrich Erkelenz, ViersenPatrick Olender, Solingen
Dr. med. Alexander Shimabukuro-Vornhagen, KölnDipl.-Phys. Rainer Thüne, Dortmund
Michael Ganß, BerlinMarianne Mauch, Ladenburg
Ulrike Maessing, Lahnstein
Christian Gall-Rödel, Heidelberg
Marie Alex, BerlinNina Klapetke, Hamburg
Sophia Schlette, BerlinSarah Kaufmann, Leipzig
Janine Hintze, BerlinUte Obernberger, Cloppenburg
Maria Fründ, DresdenVincent Weber, Berlin
Thomas Unglaub, AschaffenburgAlexandra Feißt, Hohberg
Daniela Wehlmann, BerlinClemens Radl, München
Arnim Sommer, DuisburgGregor Schwanke, Leipzig
Dr. rer. nat. Alisa Brockhoff, MünchenPhilipp Reichmuth, Bochum
Jörg Stemmer, BielefeldDr.med. Michaela Wangler, Dortmund
Sebastian Hilden, DüsseldorfFelicitas Klings, Wiesbaden
Ingo Schmidt, EssenBarend Wolf, Rüsselsheim
Daniel Mählitz, HamburgRainer Franke, Walsrode
Jürgen Ripperger, Nörten-Hardenberg
Dirk Schelhasse, Frankfurt am Main
Harald Strasser, Friedrichshafen
Franz Schmale, Rheine
Frank Runge, KölnSascha Küster, Pulheim
Barbara Buchberger, BerlinHolger Schmidt, Ratingen
Maria Müller, BerlinMike Walter, Radeberg
Claudia Hill, BerlinUwe Kuhlmann, Reinfelden
Dr. Sandra Büchsel, MarburgAndreas Reiser, Mönchberg
Sibylla Brückner, SchwandorfIris Jakobs, Kevelaer
Christina Schüttler, ErlangenAlexander Küffmeier, Würselen
Peter Schmid, HeilbronnSteffi Koch, Hude
Stefan Kühling, KölnRuth Sieber, Elsdorf
Roman Karlstetter, MünchenMoritz Franckenstein, Minden
Bernhard Prosig, SchwabhausenClaudia Thoß, Leipzig
Thomas Jansen, WassenbergKarl-Heinz Clos, Endlichhofen
Julius Henning, StahnsdorfAndreas Lehmann, Hainburg
Dr. med. Dieter Isert, EschbornMandy Neumann, Köln
Ingrid Piegendorfer, LandshutSvenja Ortmann, Köln
Agnieszka Kanning-Wisniewska ,HannoverAndré Pix, Lindau
Lühke Lühken, RekenBernhard Thielke, Gronau
Dr. med. Elisabeth Arnold, Klein-WinternheimMaximilian Berger, Stuttgart
Ronald Pfitzer, MurrhardtMelanie Künzel, Plauen
Hans-Joachim Fleck-Bröse, Kressbronn a. B.Chris Mühlnikel, Stadtroda
Marcel Heß, RoßdorfSusanne Zimmer, Hamburg
Wolfgang Graff, AltenglanClaudia Hoffmann, Köln
Jochen Drechsler, HeigenbrückenDr. Tobias Schafmeier, München
Siegfried Stier, BraunschweigDr. Martin Christiansen, Hollenstedt
Jens Thaele, KölnRobin Tautkus, Jena
Tanja Bergauer, MannheimAndreas Bergauer, Mannheim
Ulrich Höxer, Nürnberg Michael Neumann, Ansbach
Antje Ebel, NeubrandenburgReinhard J. Wagner, Ilmenau
Philip Nellessen, KölnBettina Banse, Köln
Adalbert Sedlmeier, ZusmarshausenWerner Kübler, Falkensee
Thomas Nittel, BirkenfeldJan Jungfleisch, Frankfurt am Main
Dr. med Armin Philipp , Marbach am NeckarPatrick Larscheid, LtdMedDir, Berlin
Alexander Völkl, WaldsassenDr. Gerhard Czermak, Friedberg
Dominik Gritschmeier, Nürnberg Kurt Stützer, München
Arash Biroodian, Halle (Saale)Julia Westermann, Essen
Ludwig Wieprecht, EllerhoopBjörn Banisch, Berlin
Leonard Niesik, SiegenPartei der Humanisten, Landesverband NRW
Ernst-Günther Krause, UnterschleißheimMatthias Schönfeld, Berlin
Frans Joris Fabri, KißleggPeter Lehmann, Morsbach
Jörg Hannig, OlchingRobin Schünemann, Leverkusen
Prof. Dr. Jeanette Erdmann, Lübeck Dipl.-Phys. Claudia Faber, Berlin
Michael Faber, Arzt, BerlinBernd Kockrick, Braunschweig
Dr. med. Klaus Reimert, KorschenbroichOliver Dolp, Schwalmstadt
Cornelia Wagner, UlmKatharina Kühn, Vaihingen an der Enz
Matthias Schillig, SondershausenDr. Joerg A. Runge , Bottrop
Fabian Westhauser, StuttgartProf. Arndt Bröder, Heidelberg
Dr. rer. nat. Stefan Rauschen, JülichAnna Christina Koschik, Schwerte
Dr med Julia Stenzel, Rheine Werner Koch, Aidlingen
Sonja Tauber, HamburgMichael Hagen, Rastatt
Patrick Kehler, GroßenwieheWerner Haas, Pirmasens
Dr. phil. Peter Löffelad, SpraitbachDr. rer. nat. Patrick Kursawe, Wetter (Ruhr)
Peter Flemming, Bad TölzMarkus Wunschik, Frechen
Gisela Schröder, HamburgDipl.Ing.(FH) Hermann Krah, Ilvesheim
Dr. Daniel Wallner, Leonberg
Andreas Koch, Stuttgart
Marius Sprenger, BerlinElke Hergenröther, Hollfeld
Susanne Meyer, Medizinaloberrätin, Stuttgart
Hans Trutnau, Eltville
Uwe Wüstenhagen, AhrensburgBenedikt Kühl, Wuppertal
Natalia Torow, AachenBastian Hanl, Aachen
Vivian Manie Baumert , Werther (Westf.)Dr. med. Markus Löffler, Tübingen
Dr. Ralph Deubner, MannheimArno Vetter-Diez, Dahlem
Ralph Kusche, Marburg Benjamin Wagner, Tübingen
Dr.med Martin Felmy, GelnhausenEric Regn, Hennef
Andre Lange, HamburgMax Christopher Lindemann, M.Sc., Vaals (Niederlande)
Dr. Rolf Schröder, HamburgMarcus Starke, Igensdorf
Moritz Möhler, Homburg/Saar Dr. rer. nat. Martina Adamek, Tübingen
Alice Matenaers, Tierärztin, Prötzel
Dr. rer. nat. Markus Drumm, Schöneck
Gerd Schäfer, OberhausenDr. Karl-Ulrich Störkel, Frankfurt am Main
Matthias Wenzel, 5000 Aarau (Schweiz)Dr. med. Christoph Hucklenbruch, Bad Honnef
Prof. Dr. Dr. Gerhard Vollmer, FreiburgJens Brunken, Edewecht
Alexander Laser, OsnabrückKristina Becker, Frankfurt am Main
Heike Rings, OberstdorfElena Ramminger, Leipzig
Burkhard Wepner, Köln / EngelskirchenPeter Linke, Kyritz
Christian Lübbecke, BeckumKarl Amort, Neuendettelsau
Dr. med. Dieter Mayer, NeuwiedDr. med. Ingrid Mayer, Neuwied
Matthias Urlichs, NürnbergDr. Joachim Kleinmann, Hirschhorn (Neckar)
Dipl.-Phys. Erik Schulze, DresdenStefan Richter, Senden
Wolf van de Sand, DuisburgMaria Martell, Dallgow-Döberitz
Udo Lang, Bad MünstereifelUwe Kaden, Brackenheim
Elena Kauf, BielefeldDustin Fürst, Berlin
Ulrich Schoppe, MönchengladbachStephanie Baer, Mönchengladbach
Stefan Jauerneck, Pfullingen Dr. Oliver Stern, Hamburg
Dr. Harald Neidhardt, TübingenElias Knof, Erfurt
Dr. med. Matthias Wirmer, Arzt für Kinder- und Jugendmedizin, PaderbornEric Clausnitzer, Chemnitz
Bernhard Wiethüchter, BielefeldDr. med. Oliver Dierssen, Gehrden
Elisabeth Zajac, Apothekerin, Hamburg
Dipl.-Kfm. Univ. Carsten Bergner, Ansbach
Anne Steibl, Cremlingen Andreas Hilliges, Berlin
Annemarie Seyfarth, ErfurtNorbert Müller, Bonn
Andre Anhuth, StralsundThomas Neumann, Dortmund
Dirk Ladewig, RendsburgDr. Roland Pardon, Erding
Dr. Ronald Wichern, LübeckProf. Dr. med. Günter Ollenschläger, Bergisch Gladbach
Dr. med. Mischa Eichmann, Göttingen
Lars Henning, Gynäkologe, Västerås/ Schweden
Gisa Bodenstein, BerlinAndré Hahnwald, Riesa
Ingo Kemler, RosendahlDr.med.Heinrich Binsfeld, FA für Anästhesiologie, Innere Medizin, Drensteinfurt
Clementine Voss, Britz Kr. BarnimDr. Susanne Dietz, Bad Münstereifel
Thomas Henninger, OchsenhausenDr. med. Ursula Seelkopf, Würzburg
Dr. Adrian Kaminski, Physiker/Astronom, Heidelberg
Petra Rudolf, Heidelberg
Franziska Johannes, LeipzigChristian Harms, Elmsbüttel
André Hupfer, WürzburgMaria Chiara Bosello, München
Thomas Schütz, AhausDr. rer. nat. Klaus Erler, Weilheim
Manuel Werner, AalenAgnes Liebel, Nürnberg
Kathrin Roth, München Bernhard Kunz, Buchdorf
Dr. rer. nat. Bernd Stange-Grüneberg, Mosbach / BadenAndrea Gasde, Bassum
Christiane Wilken, MünsterDr. med Susanne Hoffmann, Prüm
Carsten Hohmeier, Berlin-KreuzbergDipl. Biol. Dino Renvert, Mainz
Dr. rer. nat. Holger Hertwig, BremenDr. Axel Schubert, Dipl.-Psych., Ostfildern
Dr.-Ing. Daniel A. Tietze, WeiterstadtClaudia Wend, Oerlinghausen
Andreas Steffens, BergDr. rer. nat. Anne Angsmann, Schwanewede
Dirk Reske, DresdenSusanne Collins, Lauf a.d. Pegnitz
Susann Trommler, HamburgDr. Bernd Berschick, Willich
Kai Gebhardt, WangeroogeDr. Johanna Jauernig, Seefeld-Hechendorf
Dr. med. Peter Gnändiger, RitterhudeMartin Schaumburg, Hamburg
Dr. Hermann Müller-Weinhardt, ScheesselSontka Romaneessen, Neustadt an der Weinstraße
Dr. med. dent. Uwe Teichert, SchauensteinSina Wilke, Wees
Stephan Kaiser, Nürnberg Dr rer. nat. Michael Marks, Bonn
Hermann Gottschalk, PinzbergEnrico Ferrari, Gärtringen
Dr. med. Jens Hennicke, BerlinRainer Plaumann, Darmstadt
Stefan Reif, HeidelbergMarkus Georg Grimm, Dachau
Klaus Schräder, FürstenfeldbruckDaniel Dobbelstein, Kerpen
Claudia Bach, ManchingPatrick Carius, Saarbrücken
Dr. med. Rüdiger Mende, CoburgNathalie Lüddecke, Reutlingen
Patrick Kurrat, Hannover
Dr. Judith Jeske, Wuppertal
Joachim Schätzle, WindenVeronika Simon, Baden-Baden
Dr. med. Peter Simon, Baden-BadenMadeleine Renz, Berglen
Dr. rer. nat. Andreas Winter, BerlinAngelika Schille, St. Ingbert
Markus Wollny, FürthDr Viktoria Beumler MRCVS, Witham, United Kingdom
Dipl. Phys Gregor Bransky, AachenBernd Rott, Münster
Julia Titze, Ärztin, Dachau
Kirsten Jetzkus, Aachen
Prof. Dr. med. Markus Jungehülsing, PotsdamEvelyn Münster, Hersbruck
Jens Rettberg, RemscheidKatharina Engel, Hamburg
Matthias Straub, WettingenBirgit Koch, Oberstaufen
Karina Fründt, GlindePetra Schütz, Ahaus
Anne Schulz, HemerGerhard Janz, Meerbusch
Dr. med. Angela Freydag, HamburgStefan Rusche, Wentorf
Lisa Hackenberg-Brechtel, Langenau
Peter Schmied, Remscheid
Patrizia Boi, BerlinAnja Winzheim, Grevenbroich
André Mondri, WuppertalDoris Schäfer, Wettenberg
Volker v. Schütz, EssenThorsten Reinbold, Oldenburg
Arik Platzek, Berlin Dipl.-Inf. Steffen Moser, Ulm
Anne Güntert, EssenDipl.-Inform. Anselm Lingnau, Mainz
Michael Hass, WentorfHenry Langner M.Sc., Berlin
Christiane Attig, LeipzigLeif Eric Scriba, Butzbach
Prof. Dr. Dieter B. Herrmann, BerlinHajo Thelen, Münster
Felix Kriszun, BerlinJulia Hericks, Landau
Dr. oec. Frank Köhne, MünsterDr.-Ing. Hendryk Rudolph, Berlin
Dr. Dominic Eberle, LeipzigDipl.-Phys. Martin Hülk, Ammersbek
Gregor Fiedler
Ho-Chi-Minh-Stadt (Vietnam)
Malte Schulze, Wolfsburg
Franziska Brötsch, KumhausenJürgen Schlegel, Lahntal
Jörg Stingl, BayreuthChristine Konin, Köln
Stefan Wiermann, LangenlonsheimOrtrun Berends, FÄ für Allgemeinmedizin, Schöneck
Elisabeth Gallus, Bad Neuenahr-AhrweilerMike Zimmermann, Berllin
Michael Messingschlager, BambergDr. med. Carla Schoenmakers,
FÄ für Innere Medizin, Schriesheim
Natascha Schlicksupp, Kirchheimbolanden
Prof. Dr. Jacqueline Franke, Berlin
Thorsten Thormählen, EutinSvenja Eckert,
Dipl.-Psych., Marburg
Dr. Istemi Kuzu, Akad. Oberrat,
Dipl. Chem., Marburg
Nikola Petri, Bocholt
Dieter Lang-Zörner, Dipl. SozPäd., Dorn-Dürkheim
Petra Hund, Berlin
Gabriele Theessen, HinteDaniela Thumann, Frankenthal
Maraike Gertje, SustrumLisa Ezell, Leipzig
Dr. Yann Ducommun, München
Felix Bölter, Bernau
Desirée Weber, SoestNadja Seebacher,
Spittal an der Drau / Österreich
Marie-Ann Nimtz, Hamburg Dorothea Schmans, Berlin
Sirje Drewes, Bad DoberanAaron Klewer, Pfinztal
Dr. Edgar Müller-Gensert, Remchingen
Chiara Coenen, München
Dr. Stephanie Hallinger, RegensburgBenjamin Reiter, Nürnberg
Brigitte Bergmann, DresdenTeresia Kuhr, Paderborn
Nicole Wittmann, Garching
Niki Huwyler, Sargans (Schweiz)
Sven Schneider, Düsseldorf Silke Rost, Dresden
Michael von Lipinsky, Rastatt
Swen Thümmler, Enger
Holger Kipp, Löwenberger LandHendrik Ritter, Panketal
Hermann Heinz Oppermann, WuppertalMonika Mänz-Coenen, Homburg
Silke Anna Haberkorn, LeipzigDipl.-Inform. Sabine Kemper, Unna
Herwig Santner, Mallersdorf-Pfaffenberg
Amely Schmidt, Berlin
Dipl.-Stomat. Sylvia Stang, DarmstadtFriedrich Köpp, Basel (Schweiz)
Sabine Detzen-Hockwin, FriedrichshafenDr. rer.nat. Gerd Krisam, Rangendingen
Dipl.-Biol. Carolin Schmitz, MönchengladbachSven Pietzko, Dortmund
Yvonne Kurtz-Heuer, GeestlandAndreas Herrle, FA für Allgemeinmedizin, Pürgen
Dipl.-Phys. Philipp Hummel, Berlin
Stefan Herbert Fritz, Meiningen
Dr. Jens Radermacher, Neunkirchen/SaarJürgen Michl, Leinfelden-Echterdingen
Dr. Thilo Brinkmann, Homberg (Efze)Andreas Pfeil, Karlsruhe
Dr. Alexander Schneider, MünchenDr. Axel Gerik, München
Dr. Janina Deyng, KölnAndré Paul, Dortmund
Julian von Heyl, Frechen
Dr. med. Janina Wienert, Karlsruhe
Deborah Witschel, OberbarnimRainer Kienzle, München
Stephan Obrowski, BerlinChristoph Estermann, Augsburg
Stephan Fischer, WuppertalAnna Christina Naß, Dipl.-Inf.(FH), Karlsruhe
Susanne Döhler, DresdenFriederike Behning, Hamburg
Philipp Mentrup, Würzburg
Synnöve Lemke, Greifswald
Susanne Rau, LeipzigImmaculada Acosta de Cozar, Saarbrücken
Dr. med. Julia Folz-Antoniadis, SaarbrückenKathrin Bocks, Jülich
Dr. med. Anahita Graf, Uhldingen- Mühlhofen
Larissa Pusch, Berlin
Branko Srot, WiesbadenSebastian Gassner, Hamburg
Dr. Bernhard Fluche,
Potsdam
Jenny Schulmerich, Mainz
Gisela Schulmerich, BüchenbeurenKatharina Eisele, Griesheim
Nico Westphal, GöttingenDipl.-Phys. Olaf Brökmann, Uetersen
Sabine Böcker, VisbekDr. med. Gerhard Markus, Paderborn
Asco Beyer, BruckmühlMichael Brocks, Ahaus
Friedhelm Wald, WeselFalk Ulke, Ilmenau
Dr. Susan Binder, BerlinSteffen Veen, Essen
Frederic Brosseron, BonnHelena Hebing-Jähnichen, Kalkar
Rosaria Wöhrl, GelsenkirchenJörg Schuldt, Stralsund
Matthias Vollmer, GöttingenDr. Christian Reiser, Bamberg
Frauke Timm, HamburgFrank Kollender, Hamburg
Dipl.-Ing. Anneliese Medem, Offenbach
Hansjörg Albrecht, Burgthann
Georg Hilscher, AugsburgHelmut Schrötter, Germering
Dr. rer. nat. Jutta Fuhlrott, EssenSimone Gleinser, Biberach an der Riss
Petra Schrag, Amstetten-HofstettDr. med. Marion Welbers, Dortmund
Walter Linz, IllingenAntje Schäfer, Rötha
Peter Ofenbäck, DortmundBarbara Regenhardt, Oberasbach
Dipl.-Ing. Björn Karlson, Kümmersbruck
Dr. Claudia Nelkenbrecher, Schwabach
Matthias Gräter, NürnbergPriv.-Doz. Dr. Ralph Puchta, Nürnberg
Thomas Rakow, BerlinStella Stegmüller, Karlsruhe
Jan Stegmüller, KarlsruheRainer Roessler, Osterholz-Scharmbeck
Prof. Dr. Tina Salomon, Bremen Thomas Blommel, Ahaus
Pontus Böckman,
President of the Swedish Skeptics, Malmö
Dr. Nikil Mukerji, München
Uwe Ulmer, LeingartenJan Steinhauser, Bundesvorsitzender Partei der Humanisten, Hamburg
Dominic Ressel, Generalsekretär Partei der Humanisten, LeipzigReinhard Loffl, Schatzmeister Partei der Humanisten, Offenburg
Philine Brosch, stellv. Bundesvorsitzende Partei der Humanisten, HamburgJessica Dittmar, Vorstandsmitglied Partei der Humanisten, Berlin
Alexander Mucha, Vorstandsmitglied Partei der Humanisten, HannoverAxel Börold, stellv. Generalsekretär Partei der Humanisten, Bremen
Robin Thiedmann, Vorstandsmitglied Partei der Humanisten, MainzChristoph Tietz, Vorstandsmitglied Partei der Humanisten, Dresden
Dennis Kropp, stellv. Schatzmeister Partei der Humanisten, Aumühle Dr. med. dent. Michael Holtermann,
Weeze
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Hell, RonnenbergDr. Pascal Pein, Geesthacht
Dr. med. Martin Zeitz, DüsseldorfStefanie Vilsmaier, Darmstadt
Elke Heinrichs, ViersenDr.-Ing. Sven Lütkemeier, Paderborn
Carolin Meinert, MindenJulia Kreitz, Landesvorsitzende Partei der Humanisten Bremen, Bremen
Kathrin Böcker, KölnKevin Tanck, Köln
Robert Rieger, NürnbergSergej Höschele, Stutensee
Margot Neuser, MainzRichard Gebauer, Karlsruhe
Gerhard Thummerer, Coswig (Anhalt)
Franz-Christian Schlangen, Karlsbad / Baden
Lutz Schindler, BerlinDaniel Wiens, Oelde
Jonas Döll, MarburgKevin Wirths, Langerwehe
Dr. Sönke Ahrens, HamburgMarkus Furtner, Friedberg
HansJoachim Taschner, BobingenSven Haiber, Graben-Neudorf
Sebastian Wachtarz, MainzHelmuth Klostermann, Dortmund
Maren Stuckenbrock, HannoverMichael Kirchhof, Dortmund
Marco Neitzel, Bad UrachHorst Knicker, Bad Kreuznach
Andreas Blaschke, NürnbergHenrik Stein, Tübingen
Elena Dornekott, Münster Sonja Mohr, Wuppertal
Alexander Unverhau, BüddenstedtDipl.-Phys. Johannes Hölzl, Nürnberg
Leander Brinkmeier, Dietzenbach, OffenbachSarah Jalandt, Lübeck
Martin Hombach, GelsenkirchenNick Günther, Burgdorf
Manuel Heinrich, KallstadtJoris Wegner, Stadland
Dipl. Ing. Etienne Kaercher, Neuenstadt am KocherJari Radler, Oldenburg
Christine Daul. FÄ für Allgemeinmedizin, Baden-Baden
Meike Speetzen, Esens
Heiko Lotz geb. Drebold, AmelinghausenDr. Wolfgang Retelsdorf, Hildesheim
Jan Mandrysch, LeipzigUte Schlenger, Nieder-Olm
Blörn Luig, MünsterAlexander Horstkötter, Beckum
Stefanie Weig, HagelstadtKai Dieter Grotheer, Velbert
Dennis Book, LorupTobias Dudziak, Unna
Anja Teitge, BerlinDipl.-Phys. Dirk Strangfeld, Gelsenkirchen
Katrin Wiesemann, DüsseldorfKenneth May, Leipzig
Daniel Friske, AachenSimon Guidemann, Heidelberg
Julian Jansen, SchwalmtalKevin Phelan, München
Elisa Kreibich, HeidelbergSven Hermeling, München
Dr. rer. nat. Rudi Christian Tappert, HoyerswerdaProf. Dr. Tatjana Jesch, Freiburg im Breisgau
Sascha Radke, DürenNarek Avetisyan, B.A., Weimar
Iven Böhme, ChemnitzTim Feuchter, Rinteln
Frank Grossmann, DresdenRolf Lauer, Winterbach
Katja Palitzsch, Stein-WingertLukas Baus, Bonn
Tim Wiehe, OsnabrückPetra Wenzel, Duisburg
Cand. med. Norman Roscher, WeinheimLena-Franziska Nagel, Berlin
Dr. Tobias Rommel, MünchenDr. med. Felix Pszola, Gießen
Dr. rer. nat Mike Fabian, NürnbergSimon Wameling, Reken
Oliver R. Lattmann, Riedt (Schweiz)Dipl.-Ing. Carl-Otto Danz, Weimar
Josef Steinen, AachenFriedemann Binder, Plön
Gerhard Neugebauer, FürthGabriela Morais de Souza, Hamburg
Dr. med. Christian Brunner, WadernMicha Manuel Vehlow, Much
Oliver Donner, HamburgJoachim Dobermann, Franzburg
Mario Beck, WeimarDaniel Marques Rodrigues, Göttingen
Lennart Wilde, AachenTanju Kuruoglu, Bergheim
Dr. Katharina Hunger, FrankfurtAngela Crede, Wagenfeld
Roger Zenker, FreisingLukas Berchner, Dortmund
Margret Neugebauer, Aachen Dr. Burkhard Heitmann, Duisburg
Jonas Schopf, EschenbachDr. med. Sylvia Meske, Freiburg
Caj Torben Petermann, OldenburgMichael Dietrich, Stiefenhofen
Marco Bergmann, CoppenbrüggeReiner William Nix, Pulheim
Daniel Friske, AachenPatrick Schmitz, Heinsberg
Dr. Jörg Sallath, TauberbischofsheimSabine Dethleffsen, Glücksburg
Tizian Cochran, BitburgAlexander Laveaux, Hannover
Sebastian Thormeyer. BerlinMichael Cremer, Much
Peter Titus, HeilbronnPatrick Herrmann, Bad Wildungen
Ulrich Dehe, MainzThorsten Niedballa, Oberhausen
Dr. Rainer Kardatzki, AltenmarktAlexander Dippel, Berlin
Swen Breidenbach, KölnFabio Schmeil, Flensburg
Hildegard Brenner, HanauHenri Michael, Laubach
Dr. Theis Stüven, WiesbadenDr. Alexander Kaszubiak, Berlin
Tobias Schuster, SchwabbruckGerhard Maier, Reute
Jessica Dittmar, BerlinDr. med. Lothar M. Kirsch, Meerbusch-Lank
Alexander Foß, Besançon / FrankreichJens Jabusch, Berlin
Jörg Neumann, HeilbronnKatharina Trykowski, Bochum
Georg Hille, BerlinClaudia Schlösser, Bonn
Dr. rer. nat. Jörg Gotthardt Fischer, Niewitz/Spreewald

 


Picture  credits:  S. Hermann & F. Richter on Pixabay

The INH to MEPs on homeopathy in the EU Medicines Directive

In the meantime, the Spanish government has initiated a wide outreach against pseudomedicine. For example, it no longer wants to accept the medicinal status of homeopathy, wants to ban homeopathy from pharmacies and has already “discontinued” the first batch of homoeopathics which could not present a valid proof of efficacy upon request. England is currently performing a complete “blacklisting”, i.e. a process that means the end of any registration for homeopathic medication with a drug authority.

The EU Medicines Directive does not regulate in detail how exactly the member states deal with homeopathy in health care. However, it does fix two key points: It includes homeopathy in its definition of a medical drug and obliges the states to regulate a simplified registration procedure for homeopathy instead of the usual drug approval. If one seriously wants to dispute the status of homeopathic medicinal products (and thus their privileges), one cannot completely ignore EU law.

Spain knows that. At various levels (including that of the government), there are efforts to achieve a revision of the EU directive on medicinal products in the field of homeopathy. These efforts need support. The INH has therefore addressed the following letter to German MEPs, which is initially intended to provide basic information on the facts of the case and support Spain’s position in the expected discussion. This seems all the more necessary as the European homeopathic manufacturers and associations have for a long time maintained a lobby organisation directly in Brussels, which apparently has quite good material and personnel resources and whose task is to exert direct influence “on the spot”. We do not have such resources, but we do have the facts. And who knows – perhaps one or the other national government will even join Spain and become active in the EU?

______________

Mr. Mrs. …
MEP

by e-mail                                            7 August 2019

Homeopathy in the EU Medicines Directive

Dear Madam / Sir,

The European Medicines Directive (Directive 2001/83/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 November 2001 on the Community code relating to medicinal products for human use,  Official Journal of the European Community L 311, 28.11.2001) classifies homeopathic preparations as medicinal products and requires national governments to establish a simplified registration procedure outside the otherwise prescribed rules for marketing authorisation for pharmaceutical remedies.

However, the consensus of the worldwide scientific community has long since classified homeopathy as a specifically ineffective sham therapy, the spread and “popularity” of which have completely different bases than those of medical relevance (evidence). In many countries, this insight is now gaining acceptance. It will be in the well-understood interest of the public’s health to take consequences of this. The misguiding of the public that homeopathy is a form of therapy expressly recognised by the legislator and therefore endowed with the credit of efficacy and harmlessness may not be continued.

In this respect, the Kingdom of Spain is already campaigning for an amendment to European pharmaceutical law, which not only grants homeopathic preparations the status of medicinal products by definition, but also grants them the additional privilege of registration (see also http://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-8-2018-004948-ASW_EN.html). This special legal framework has no objective justification, as the EASAC – as official advisor to the EU institutions – clearly stated in its statement of 20.09.2017 (https://easac.eu/publications/details/homeopathic-products-and-practices/).

In the interest of a science-based, honest and patient-oriented health policy, also on behalf of the German Consumer Association e.V. and its regional associations, we ask you to support a revision of the Medicines Directive in the sense described, in order to clear the way for appropriate national regulations under Community law.

You can inform yourself about the scientific status of homeopathy on the (multilingual) website of our association: www.network-homeopathy.info .

Yours sincerely

For the  Information Network Homeopathy

Dr. Natalie Grams – Dr. Ing. Norbert Aust – Dr. Christian Lübbers


 

Open letter to Karin Maag, Member of the Bundestag – Reimbursement of Homeopathy

Mrs. Karin Maag, member of the Health Committee of the German Bundestag, has recently spoken out on several occasions against the reimbursement of homeopathy by the statutory health insurance funds. She did use a number of arguments which, in the opinion of the INH, require clarification. For this reason, Mrs Maag has received the following Open Letter from the Homeopathy Information Network:

______________

Mrs.
Karin Maag MdB
Place of the Republic 1
11011 Berlin

 

Mail to: karin.maag@bundestag.de                                                                 29.07.2019
Informational to: Federal Minister of Health, Mr Jens Spahn

Homeopathy and statutory health insurance

Dear Mrs Maag,

We have learned from the press reporting that in the discussion about the reimbursement of homeopathy by statutory health insurers you have clearly positioned yourself against plans to abolish it. At the same time, however, we can also see from this reporting that you are apparently not sufficiently informed about the aims and arguments of the scientifically based critique of homeopathy and that you also argue in part outside the context of the problem.

We would therefore like to make a few comments on this.

We, the Information Network Homeopathy, raise awareness since 2016 that homeopathy is a sham therapy that has neither ever been able to provide valid proof of efficacy nor to eliminate the incompatibility of its basic assumptions with scientifically proven principles. There is a broad consensus on this in the scientific world. We refer exemplarily to the clear judgement of the EASAC, the advisory board of the Association of European Academies of Science, which was published in 2017.

Against this background, we also see the discussion on the reimbursability of homeopathy by statutory health insurance funds. And against this background we also contradict the thesis that there must be a coexistence of homeopathy and science. Either one recognises the relevance of the scientific evaluation of homeopathy – then the consequences are obvious. Or one doesn’t – then one speaks out in favour of equating facts and opinions.

The core problem lies in the fact that the current reimbursability strengthens the public reputation of homeopathy, which is scientifically and, in our opinion, also unacceptable from the point of view of health policy. It lends additional credibility to the already widespread misconception among the population that homeopathy is a well-established form of therapy, which at any rate must be regarded as equivalent to scientific medicine.

Part of this misconception is that homeopathy is wholly or partly identical with naturopathy. But nothing could be more wrong than an equation of homeopathy and naturopathy. Nothing is “natural” in the esoteric assumption that there is a “principle of similarity” in nature that is related to human interests. There is nothing “natural” about the postulate that through dilution and ritual shaking, a “spiritual medicinal power”, today called “vibrations” or “energy”, will not only pass into the solvent, but will also become essentially “stronger”. There is no doubt that the public has not yet been sufficiently informed about all this.

A solidarity community such as the statutory health insurance needs an intersubjectively defined framework whose criterion is the general advantage. This framework is guaranteed by evidence-based medicine, which requires proof of efficacy of means and methods based on recognised scientific methodology. Homeopathy cannot satisfy this requirement; it is marketed under “medicinal product” only because the Medicines Act exempts it from this requirement.

We are fully aware that, as you are quoted, “many people feel better off taking homeopathic medicines”. The explanations for this have been known for a long time, but they have nothing to do with the specific medical effectiveness of homeopathy. These are contextual effects of various kinds that occur with any kind of treatment, often even with pure attention.

We even see in this one of the central dangers of the application of homeopathy. Anyone who has had “good experiences” with homeopathy with minor health disorders, or perhaps only with mood disorders, runs the risk of relying on it even in the case of more serious illnesses. The patient “conditions” himself to the medically ineffective homeopathy. The associated potential danger is obvious; the more homeopathy is erroneously perceived as a “gentle and side-effect-free” alternative to normal medicine, the less the risks will be perceived.

On the question of reimbursability in the statuary health solidarity system, the cost aspect plays a completely subordinate role, if at all. It is not a question of whether the expenses for homeopathy are “peanuts” or not, not of whether the system can “afford it”. It’s about drawing clear border lines in the matter.

Medicine is what has been proven to work beyond contextual effects. This defines the boundary between necessary, appropriate and economic care – the object of health insurance according to the social law – and what belongs to the realm of subjective, personal well-being. Which everyone may use for themselves on their own responsibility and at their own expense. We therefore consider it a reversal of the facts to refer insured persons who rightly reject homeopathy as a medical method to health insurers who do not offer their reimbursement.

It is therefore in the interests of the solidarity community that the health insurance reimbursement, which suggests a medical significance of homeopathy, should not be continued. It would be even more desirable if homeopathy were to be deprived of its special status in pharmaceutical law, which exempts it from scientifically based proof of efficacy. It is by no means a question of banning homeopathy. For everyone who wants to use it – informed! – it remains available.

We are therefore convinced that the well-understood patient interest requires a correction of the decision per reimbursement. Of course, regardless of the clear facts, this is also a political matter of balancing rights and interests. We have no doubt, however, that the arguments put forward against reimbursement of homeopathy are so far-reaching and in the public interest that they cannot be outweighed by other particular interests.

For discussions and further information, we are at your disposal at any time in any form you like.

Yours sincerely

For the Homeopathy Information Network

Dr. Natalie Grams.
Dr. Ing. Norbert Aust
Dr. Christian Lübbers

Decision on Homeopathy in France – and Germany? – An Interim Conclusion

An empty bottle symbolizing the French decision against reimbursement of homeopathy with a little wooden shield with the words This week, French Health Minister Agnès Buzyn announced the French government’s decision to remove homeopathy completely from the statutory health insurance scheme by 2021. For a transitional year, the reimbursement rate for homeopathic medicines is to be halved from 30 to 15 per cent. According to Mme Buzyn, she also wants to use this “transitional year” for more information about homeopathy and thus achieve greater acceptance for the decision, until it has a full effect in 2021.

This final decision was preceded within the last 15 months by the most comprehensive evaluation of homeopathy ever carried out in France. In the end, the Haute Autorité Santé made a clear statement: homeopathy lacks a specific efficacy that goes beyond mere contextual effects and thus does not justify a position as a reimbursable medicine in public health care.

The decision of the French government is explicitly based on the undeniable scientific facts, which do not attribute more relevance to homeopathy than any other sham therapy and deliberately puts other aspects such as the “popularity argument”, the “marginal” costs in the health care system but also economic interests of manufacturers aside. Thus, the French government has also decided not to participate further in the maintenance of a public reputation of homeopathy.

The findings on which this Decision is based have been known and validated for a long time. Basically, it is more interesting that and why homeopathy, despite all this, has been able to establish and maintain its reputation and its special position. The development in France once again highlights the factors that played a role in this.

In Germany, as elsewhere, the rise of homeopathy to a veritable industry originated in the late 1970s with its “New Age” affinity, which propagated a misunderstood closeness to nature as well as an indefinite “neomysticism”. In this era, it was possible to label the method sustainably as a “natural, gentle and side-effect-free” alternative to medicine and thus bring it closer to naturopathy. This quickly and sustainably influenced public perception. With the EU Medicines Directive and national regulations such as the German “internal consensus” in the Medicines Act, all this was legitimised. This marked the beginning of a new era of “homeopathic research”, driven by the desire to gain not only formal but also scientific legitimacy.

This “drawing a bill to the future” could not be redeemed. At the end of the 1970s, some defenders of the “special therapeutic directions” may have been personally convinced that proof of the effectiveness and mode of action of homeopathy could already be found. After 42 years of internal consensus and the search for scientific legitimation, this has demonstrably failed. Credit’s run out.

There is no scientifically sound evidence for a plausible mechanism of action of homeopathy, so it is not surprising that all meta-analyses and reviews of efficacy carried out in the last 30 years have revealed no reliable evidence for any indication. That is the actual state of affairs today. And this is the basis of the overdue questioning of homeopathy as part of medicine and as part of medical legislation, the legitimation of which has become untenable.

That is why it is high time – as France has just demonstrated – to draw conclusions from the special position of homeopathy in medicine and pharmaceutical law, which has been shown to be wrong and unjustified. The credit of the method is used up. What could make this more clear than the comprehensive evaluation of the scientific knowledge situation, which was carried out again with great seriousness in France – with “devastating” results, as the French media repeatedly expressed?

In the current discussion about an end to the official legitimization of homeopathy, its representatives either refer back to the untenable positions of the 1970s (“pluralism in medicine”), gloss over, distort or even deny the clear scientific state of knowledge (“there are hundreds of studies….”, “the homeopathic basic research…”) or present completely irrelevant aspects that have nothing to do with the core problem (“restriction of the freedom of therapy”, “paternalism of the responsible patient”, the “peanuts argument” and more).  All this is irrelevant for the objective of homeopathic criticism to help the principles of evidence-based patient-oriented medicine achieve a breakthrough in the public health system. France takes a first step with the withdrawal of reimbursability, Spain and England are already going further by taking homeopathic remedies the official quality as medicine. It is time to draw the consequences in Germany, too, from the fact that the granting of special rights for the “special therapeutic directions” in the Medicines Act, which appear at least partly explainable (if not correct) from the situation at the time of the consultation of this Act, has long since proved to be a wrong way and a dead end.

Homeopathy in Germany is currently still a major obstacle to the consistent implementation of evidence-based medicine in the public health system. It is the anchor of pseudomedicine within drug law. Thus it is a kind of legitimation for a multitude of other, often extremely dangerous pseudomedical methods. It cannot be ruled out at all that the call for the same special rights that are currently granted to homeopathy could also come from other directions. In view of the existing privileged status of homeopathy, there is little that can be argued against.

The legitimacy of the demand to end the special position of homeopathy in medicine and public health stems from all this. This demand is not marginal, forced by any “fanatical opponents”, nor – as recently suggested – a campaign of “economically interested circles”. This demand is a call for integrity and honesty in medicine and for a step towards a reliable and sustainable public health system.

Following the decision in France, Germany is the only country within the EU retaining the reimbursement in statutory health insurance based on a special position for homeopathy in pharmaceutical law.

What’s the matter?


 

But health insurance companies wouldn’t pay for ineffective drugs!

(This contribution describes the legal situation in Germany which currently applies to the reimbursement of homeopathy by the statutory health insurance.)

A plethora of letters and numbers symbolizing the confusion of German health legislation described in the following contribution
Rather confused, one would say…

Unfortunately the health insurances do this indeed, even if one hardly considers it possible. Because the legislator allows the health insurance companies the reimbursement of homeopathy.

This is caused by the difference between regular reimbursements based on law and additional permissible reimbursements based on the insurance’s own stating orders.

First of all, you have to know what the regular reimbursements of a statutory health insurance company are. Those are the reimbursements for therapies, methods and means approved by the Federal Joint Committee (an independent institution of the self-administration of the German health system) for which proof of effectiveness has been provided. This must pay each health insurance company according to § 12 of the Social Code V under consideration of the principles “sufficiently, expediently and economically”.

The same § 12 stipulates that benefits that are not necessary or not economical may not be claimed by insured persons, not provided by healthcare providers and not approved by health insurance funds. That would not belong then to the regular reimbursements.

In view of this, how does it come now nevertheless to the fact that in the meantime more than 75 per cent of the legal health insurance companies take over costs for homeopathy?

For that one must know, what “additional permissible reimbursements” are.  This is what the Ministry of Health itself says on its website:

“Additional permissible benefits are those that a health insurance company can provide in addition to the statutory benefits. Those benefits are generally at the discretion of the health insurance funds (based on the company’s own bylaws) and can be used for competition between the health insurance funds. Insofar as they exist, the health insurance fund is bound by its own bylaws vis-à-vis all insured persons”.

The instrument of additional permissible benefits has existed for some time by legal authorisation. However, it only became exciting with a legal amendment in 2012, the 3rd SHI Care Structure Act, which greatly expanded the catalogue of possible additional permissible benefits.

The Trojan Horse

These permissilbe benefits are something like the Trojan horse for means and methods which, according to the clear statement of the Social Code V, should actually be excluded from the statutory benefits.

Two of the things that were allowed as statutory services in 2012 were the reimbursement of over-the-counter medications and the reimbursement of services provided by “other health service providers”.

It is well known that homeopathic remedies in Germany are medicinal products by law – because of the unspeakable “internal consensus”, not because of scientific proofs of efficacy. They share this privilege with anthroposophical and phytotherapeutic remedies. And here it is important to understand:

Homeopathic remedies as such have never been excluded from reimbursement. After all, they are medicines by law. But: practically all of them are available over the counter – and the over the counter medicines were completely excluded from reimbursement by the SHI in one of the legislator’s cost containment rounds in 2004. It was not because of the dubious homeopathy method that the health insurance funds were prevented from reimbursing homeopathy until 2012, but only because all over-the-counter medicines had been exempt from reimbursement since 2004. With a few exceptions, especially for children and adolescents up to a certain age. And in fact: for this group of persons costs for prescribed homeopathic medication has been reimbursed for years and days and to this day as regular benefits!

And with the reimbursability of services provided by “other health service providers”, the door also opened for the reimbursement of medical homeopathic services, for which there simply were no billing figures until now. The Central Association of Homeopathic Physicians, via its marketing company, concluded so-called selective contracts with the health insurance funds, which stipulated that medical homeopathic services could be invoiced at special rates outside the normal SHI budgeting. (The idea of selective contracts was intended to ensure better care for the chronically ill, but – like so much else – has long since spread to completely different areas).

And so the regulations of the 3rd SHI Care Structure Act, without the word “homeopathy” even appearing anywhere in them, had become the “Trojan horse” with which homeopathy could establish itself in statutory health insurance.

And this should make one thing clear to us: An end to health insurance reimbursement as a statutory benefit would only be a “stage victory” for homeopathy criticism, an actuarial process, so to speak. The barn door of the medicinal property with which homeopathy is placed within medicine remains open. And thus also the possibility of turning the whole thing around again at some point through a legal or insurance process. As long as homeopathy is not equal to all other medicines in the approval procedure, but is preferential treated by the “internal consensus” the basic problem remains unsolved.

Competition – with what?

This all is already a rather confused matter. Why extends is the legislator the catalogue of additional permissible reimbursements in this way?

Well, the underlying thought was the introduction of “competition” between the insurance companies. (Important: Unlike as in the UK, in Germany namely exists a unified system of SHI, but divided into a number of separate insurance companies based on civil law; a unified organisation like the NHS doesn’t exist.) Competition within the framework of the regular reimbursements was not possible, competition over the contribution rate and over rationalisation inventions was practically exhausted in 2012. The idea of effectiveness competition has undoubtedly also had an effect, as can be seen from the significant reduction in the number of statutory health insurance funds. And so the legislator invented an offer competition, pure marketing with a colourful vendor’s tray of “benefits” for the potential customer, especially the wellness oriented, consistently healthy “midage generation”.

This happened in 2012 beyond the regular reimbursements by the extended catalogue of additional permissible benefits. And homeopathy was at the top of the wish list – both the homeopathic lobby and the health insurers, who saw it to be lucrative in competiting new “customers”.

Marketing takes precedence over effectiveness

Due to the already existing “popularity” of homeopathy and the busy lobbying of the usual suspects, the health insurance funds began to outbid each other by assuming the costs of this ineffective method – with the blessing of the legislator, under the supervision of the responsible departments and institutions and – very importantly – at the expense of all contributors to the respective fund. Because there is no election or additional tariff offered (there was once such in the SHI; however, ist was 2018 abolished because only some 500 insured persons remained), but the statutory tariff for regular benefit plus additional permissible achievements has to be payed by each member equally.

Even the homeopathy lobby was apparently somewhat surprised by this performance of the legislator. Even the then chairwoman of the German Central Association of Homeopathic Physicians stated in astonishment: “For the health insurance funds, this is probably a marketing instrument to set themselves apart within competition”. There is little to nothing to be added.

Conclusion

On a broad front – i.e. with about three quarters of the statutory health insurance funds – the money of all contributors is spent with the blessing of the legislator predominantly for marketing reasons for the ineffective method “homeopathy”. From the point of view of a rationally thinking insured person, this can actually only be seen as an embezzlement of his contribution money. From the point of view of homeopathy lobbyists and, in many cases, of the insurance companies themselves, one usually hears that “people want that” or “demand is high”. What a wrong way in the truest sense of the word. To put it nicely, the legislator has obviously set the wrong incentives, as one would say in economics. To put it mildly, social insurance offers little room for competition and marketing, especially not with medically worthless means and methods. It is a community based on solidarity in which other principles have to stand in the foreground.

Learn more at us: Read why the cash insurances may not pay glasses and higher subsidies for dental prosthesis at all and why these may not be exchanged against homeopathy therefore according to valid right – and why substantial doubts exist whether the reimbursement for homeopathy really goes despite medicinal property and legalized permissible benefits is in fact legal.


More about health insurance companies and homeopathy can be found on our Homöopedia and on VICE with Dr. Natalie Grams: Why health insurance companies should finally stop paying for homeopathy (both in German).


Picture credits: Gerd Altmann on Pixabay

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