Homeopathy is one of the most-used forms of medicine in the world, and arguably the fastest growing. Depending on which estimate you believe, 300-500 million patients worldwide use it. Some 400,000 healthcare professionals recommend homeopathic medicines, including about 100,000 physicians who prescribe them routinely. Homeopathy is used in over 80 countries.
The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) reported in March 2011 that the world market for homeopathy was then about $5.35 billion, and growing by about 25% annually. At this rate it will surpass conventional medicine by about 2035.
Homeopathy is most popular in Europe, where it originated, especially France, where about 80% of the world’s homeopathic medicines are manufactured. The European Union officially recognized homeopathy for both human and veterinary use in 1992. Three out of four Europeans are familiar with homeopathy and 29% use it for self care. Nearly 70% of sales of homeopathic medicines are made in Western Europe. France, with more than $450 million in sales, is the world’s largest market for homeopathy, followed by Germany. In Poland, more than 3,000 doctors are trained in homeopathy.
In England, five hospitals use homeopathic treatments. Of physicians who do not practice homeopathy, 42% are willing to refer their patients to a homeopath.
A study commissioned by the government of Switzerland showed that homeopathy is more cost-effective than any other form of medicine, traditional or alternative; see here.
In the United States of America, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes the 1938 American Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia (HPUS) as the official reference guiding manufacture. The use of homeopathic medicines in the United States has quintupled since 1990, largely due to the marketing of over-the-counter products.
In some countries, such as India, Mexico, England, Brazil and Cuba, homeopathy is integrated into the health system. In Cuba, mass dosing of preventive homeopathic medicines has been used through the public health system for epidemic control.
In India, it is estimated that more than 250,000 practitioners and 75,000 paramedics treat ten percent of the population with only homeopathic medicines. The government runs TV ads urging people to use homeopathy for better health.
In Brazil, 15,000 doctors practice homeopathy and 9 million patients use homeopathic medicines.
As communications technology continues to transform the world into a global village, research on homeopathy now being conducted in countries outside the developed world is pushing medicine to new frontiers… and in fact will leave the West behind if the West continues to ignore it.