Government studies show that 30% of older Americans regularly use various forms of alternative medicine. Alternative healthcare choices frequently include chiropractic treatments, massage, nutritional supplements, herbs, and homeopathy.
Homeopathy was developed in 1796, and used widely around the world to treat various health conditions — especially in the (British) Commonwealth of Nations. Reasons vary for treatment choices, but safety and cost are two major factors in why patients opt to try it. Pharmaceutical drugs frequently come with serious side effects, as well as high out-of-pocket costs. But Medicare, like most commercial insurers, covers primarily conventional medicine — and if you want to try other approaches like homeopathy, you’re on your own to pay for treatments.
TSCL thus believes there should be no reason for the government to limit access to safe, alternative approaches like these. The public should have access to and freedom to choose alternate treatments. Yet the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently began efforts to restrict access to homeopathic medicines, suggesting that the remedies should require a prescription, even though they can be widely purchased now without one.
TSCL filed comments asking the FDA to defend the public’s access to homeopathy. TSCL argued that the FDA has regulations in place and already works with manufacturers of homeopathic remedies to ensure the safety of consumers. This inexpensive option should be left available to patents, especially when the FDA has other, more urgent issues of public safety pressing on its limited resources.