Disbursement of homeopathy: Boiron on the front line

The laboratory argues that the derogation of homeopathy would threaten 1,300 of the 2,600 jobs the group has in France.

By Pascale Santi Posted today at 10h57

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The end of the reimbursement of homeopathy would threaten 1,300 jobs out of the 2,600 that Boiron has in France.
The end of the reimbursement of homeopathy would threaten 1,300 jobs out of the 2,600 that Boiron has in France. ROMAIN LAFABREGUE / AFP

With every threat of a homeopathic derogation, the arguments do not change. For Boiron, the world leader in the sector, headquartered in Lyon, the end of the reimbursement of homeopathy would threaten 1,300 jobs, out of the 2,600 that counts his company in France (3,672 worldwide).

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Why the High Health Authority recommends the cancellation of homeopathy

In its opinion adopted on May 15, the Haute Autorité de Santé (HAS), which examined 1,163 homeopathic "Given a negative opinion on the maintenance of Medicare coverage for homeopathic medicines", paving the way for their derogation. "This assessment is therefore related to homeopathic medicines with a common name (excluding magistral preparations, made to order by pharmacists), currently covered at 30% by Medicare. " This debate was relaunched a little over a year ago by a forum of health professionals published March 19, 2018 in Le Figaro.

If the vast majority of these products are sold without prescription and are not reimbursed, such as Oscillococcinum, Cocculine (Boiron) or L52 (Lehning) … part is supported by 30% by Medicare. "This represents thirty specialties, about 7,000 drugs evaluated by the High Authority of Health", recently World Dr. Anne d'Andon, Head of the Drug Evaluation Department at HAS.

118 million units

According to the draft opinion of the HAS, more than 6.7 million French (about 10% of the population) have benefited from a reimbursement of a homeopathic medicine, with about three refunds in the year. This represents, according to Medicare data, 118 million units (tubes of granules) of homeopathic medicines reimbursed in 2018, more than 18,000 different homeopathic medicines or preparations, corresponding to 55 million prescriptions. In addition, 52 million were sold without a prescription.

These prescriptions were made by 120,000 prescribers, mainly general practitioners. In more than half of the cases, they were associated with conventional treatments, says the HAS.

According to 2011-2012 data cited in the HAS opinion, the first five strains that gave rise to reimbursement are Arnica montana, prescribed for bruising, body aches …, which totals alone 6.2 million units, Influenzinum, "Traditionally used for the prevention or treatment of influenza or influenza", Ignatia amara, for stress-related disorders, Gelsemium sempervirens, given for «Anxiety, headache, insomnia, trac …» and Hamamelis virginiana (exczema, cold sores …). In total, this weighs relatively little in the expenditure of Medicare: 129.6 million euros, out of a total of 19.9 billion euros of drugs reimbursed in 2017, or about 1% of the drug budget.

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