Time for action! INH Open Letter on Homeopathy in the Health Sector

Lesedauer / Reading Time: 4 min

Six years of INH educational work, discussions and advertising for an appropriate role for homeopathy – not as medicine and outside the health system. We have achieved a lot, raised general awareness about the real background of homeopathy, faced the attempts of homeopaths to argue and last but not least contributed to the fact that the homeopathy lobby has pretty much lost its air sovereignty over media coverage. All nice, much more than we expected when we founded our organisation. However …
With regard to our core objective of getting politicians to revise the unspeakable special role of homeopathy in German pharmaceutical and social law, little or nothing has visibly happened.At least the Green Party has discussed the issue and also managed to come up with a certain statement in the party programme. But the official policy …?

And yet. A little more than a week ago, one could hear quite clear criticism of the reimbursement of homeopathy by statutory health insurers from the mouths of various politicians in the coalition. The media took notice – and so did we. Since it is not our business to take a wait-and-see approach, we have used the small vacuum that has arisen here to write an open letter to the ministers concerned and the members of the Health Committee. We publish it below:


Federal Minister of Health
Prof. Dr. Karl Lauterbach

Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection
Steffi Lemke

To the health policy spokespersons of the parliamentary groups
SPD, Alliance 90/The Greens, FDP

To the members of the Health Committee of the German Bundestag


Ladies and Gentlemen!

As an independent working group, we have been publicly and voluntarily clarifying the errors and misinformation about homeopathy since 2016. A special concern of ours is the clarification of the negative effects of the particular position of homeopathy in pharmaceutical and social law.

We now refer to the critical statements of various parliamentarians of the coalition on the reimbursement of homeopathy by statutory health insurances (e.g. ZDF on 21.01.2022 [1]). We advocate that homeopathy as a healing doctrine from pre-scientific times, whose basic assumptions contradict scientific knowledge, should not only no longer be a subject of health insurance reimbursement, but in general can no longer claim any place within our health care system.

The potential dangers of homeopathy, which have been too little revealed by the legal privileges of the “internal consensus” and the reimbursement by the health insurance system, have now become abundantly clear in the Corona pandemic. Be it claims by homeopaths to be able to avoid or treat the Covid19 disease by means of globules, or be it alleged homeopathic “vaccines” or advertised vaccination-removal methods. This is not only about individual statements of homeopaths. Leading homeopathic medical associations have also come forward with untenable statements (e.g. DZVhÄ [2] [3] and Hahnemann Society [4]).

We see a further potential danger in the drift of people with an affinity for homeopathy into unscientific beliefs in the field of medicine and personal health care, which we have always seen as one of the main risks of homeopathy.

In particular, this concerns the long-suspected, now empirically quite well-documented direct link between homeopathy affinity and vaccination scepticism. Older studies [5] [6] [7] have already shown that homeopathically oriented physicians deviate significantly from the official vaccination recommendations. More recent studies in the 2021 pandemic [8] [9] now show values for the relationship between homeopathic advocacy and lack of willingness to vaccinate on the part of patients that must be dismaying (drop in willingness to vaccinate among adults to 47% if homeopathy is believed in, 62% refusal to vaccinate among parents of children for whom they make the vaccination decision if homeopathy is believed in).
In our view, a point has been reached here where the withdrawal of legal privileges and thus of homeopathy’s decades-long credibility bonus is necessary and timely. Remedies without proof of efficacy have no claim to a place in a solidarity-financed public health system, neither for medical nor for health economic[10] reasons, nor for reasons of general health literacy.[11]

We would therefore like to point out emphatically that, despite all the problems in the current legislative period, the aforementioned initiative by parliamentarians to reimburse the costs of homeopathy in the SHI system must not be allowed to “peter out”, but that the topic belongs on the agendas of health and consumer protection policy.

As far as the content is concerned, we would like to point out that an end to the reimbursement of homeopathy by the SHI funds is actually only a secondary aspect within the legal and factual context. Regardless of the regulations on the statutory benefits of the SHI funds in § 11 para. 6 SGB V, the reimbursability – like the pharmacy obligation, another important credibility aspect – “hangs” on a single premise: on the unjustified medicinal product status of homeopathy, which it receives on the basis of a regulation of the AMG amendment (§ 25 para. 2 and § 105 para. 4f AMG / furthermore § 135 SGB V) that is already irrelevant since 1978, without scientifically substantiated proof of a specific medical effect.

In view of the negative scientific evidence of the method[12], which is disputed solely by the homeopathic sphere of interest, this can no longer be objectively justified. In 1978, due to considerable uncertainties on the subject, one may still have assessed it differently, but today’s very clear scientific knowledge and the damage potential of the bogus method of homeopathy that has become visible make these rules obsolete and reduce them to purely formal significance.

We would therefore like to appeal to you not to lose sight of this important problem area, the dissolution of which would without question strengthen the credibility and effectiveness of a rational evidence-oriented health policy and make a considerable contribution to general health literacy. Only in passing should we refer to the developments in other European countries – England, France, Spain – in recent years, which have taken extensive account of the medical irrelevance of homeopathy in their public health systems.

We are at your disposal for information and argumentative exchange.

Yours sincerely

Information Network Homeopathy

Dr Norbert Aust
Dr. med. Christian W. Lübbers
Udo Endruscheit
Dr. med. Wolfgang Vahle
Prof. Dr. med. Jutta Hübner (Scientific Advisory Board)
Co-signatory: Dr. med. Natalie Grams-Nobmann


[1] https://www.zdf.de/nachrichten/politik/homoeopathie-krankenkasse-finanzierung-reform-100.html

[2] https://www.dzvhae.de/interview-mit-dr-wolfgang-springer/

[3] https://www.homoeopathie-bayern.de/homoeopathie-in-zeiten-von-corona/

[4] „Corona-Newsticker“ fortlaufend auf der Webseite der Hahnemann-Gesellschaft, beispielhaft: https://www.hahnemann-gesellschaft.de/allgemein/5-corona-newsticker-wir-werden-zunehmend-immunkompetent-fuer-sars-cov-2/

[5] https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00112-004-0972-6

[6] https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Impfeinstellung-und-verhalten-unter-Kinder-und-mit-Schmidt/7fd4b14d44b861a6255aafbfe7c9b0031a331a3d

[7] https://www.ucl.ac.uk/Pharmacology/dc-bits/schmidt-ernst-vaccine-2003.pdf

[8] https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11553-021-00908-y

[9] https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00608-021-00925-2

[10] https://netzwerk-homoeopathie.info/von-wegen-so-okay-herr-spahn-ein-gastbeitrag-von-pharmaoekonomin-prof-dr-tina-salomon/

[11] http://library.fes.de/pdf-files/wiso/15715.pdf

[12] https://easac.eu/fileadmin/PDF_s/reports_statements/EASAC_Homepathy_statement_web_final.pdf

We stay tuned.