EU to fund research into complementary medicine

Heel welcomes debate at the European Parliament on exploration of Homeopathy and Anthroposophic Medicine

Brussels (Belgium) / Baden-Baden (Germany) April 21, 2011 – On Wednesday, April 13, Parliamentarians, experts and associations met for a European Parliament breakfast to discuss the scientific evidence of complementary medicine. Chaired by Mrs. Marian Harkin, a Member of the European Parliament, the meeting concluded that homeopathy and anthroposophic medicine help many European citizens and should thus be integrated into EU health policy and the upcoming framework program for research.

With more than 100 million users of homeopathy and anthroposophic medicine in Europe, the urge to put more effort in researching this field is getting larger and larger. “The fast growing demand stems from many years of successful practical experience, coupled with the excellent overall safety profile of these therapeutic approaches and their medicinal products,” Harkin explained. ”The EU should act now in support of these long-established European therapies.”

Her call is in line with the “Declaration of Beijing” that was signed by the member states of the World Health Organization in 2008. It binds them to advance traditional medicine based on research and innovation. The debate was timed to coincide with the Commission’s Green Paper on a Common Strategic Framework for EU Research and Innovation Funding after 2013.Currently, the EU supports research activities with a 5-year budget of 53.3 billion euro.

Out of this budget, 6.1 billion euro are focused on healthcare. In the future, a significant sum will probably be assigned to research in complementary medicine (CAM) as the race in developing well tolerable and effective therapies is increasing around the world. The US government has made CAM a compulsory subject at 125 medical schools and invests more than 120 million dollars each year into research projects. In Switzerland, CAM has been included into the country’s primary health care through a public referendum in 2009.

“We highly welcome this European initiative,” says Ralph Schmidt, CEO of Heel, the global leader in homeopathic combination medications. “For decades, Heel has been striving to build the bridge between homeopathy and conventional medicine through pioneering scientific research in natural medicine,” he adds. “Just imagine how patient care and healing could be improved if research into complementary medicine would be increased all over Europe.”

The efficacy and tolerability of many of Heel`s medications has been proven in scientifically validated studies. Until now, more than 60 peer-reviewed publications in medico-scientific journals strongly validate Heel’s research activities. Heel invest a double-digit million Euro amount in medic-scientific research every year and is currently co-operating with international experts, institutes and universities in over 60 research projects.

Marian Harkin, MEP, and Matthias Reinig, Head of Corporate Communications at Heel, discuss options to foster the scientific base of complementary medicine in Europe at a parliamentary breakfast in the European Parliament in Brussels on April 13, 2011. Photo: ECHAMP

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Heel is a pharmaceutical company that develops, manufactures and distributes medications based on natural substances. Being the global leader in homeopathic combination medications, the company is a pioneer in the field of scientific research in natural healthcare. In cooperation with academic institutions, Heel actively fosters the concept of Integrative Medicine and is striving to build the bridge between homeopathy and conventional medicine to improve patient care and healing.

The ‘Biologische Heilmittel Heel GmbH’ with its corporate headquarters located in Baden-Baden/Germany and a staff of 1,300, achieved an annual turnover of 173 million Euros in 2009 – 70 percent of it overseas. Heel medications are available through subsidiaries and distribution partners in over 50 countries around the world. Heel is a subsidiary of DELTON AG.