The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) says it wants input on whether it needs to do more to ensure that remedies are safe and effective. According to an article from The Washington Post:
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“Homeopathy has long been a magnet for controversy, earning a devoted following among patients who insist its remedies are safe and effective, while attracting criticism from many doctors and researchers who say its treatments offer no more help than a placebo. After problems within the industry in recent years, the Food and Drug Administration says it wants to revisit how it oversees homeopathic products, which can be manufactured and marketed without prior approval from regulators. Should the FDA regulate homeopathic remedies such as Cold-Eeze the same way it does over-the-counter drugs such as Advil? Should it hold products such as Zicam, which contains small amounts of zinc, to the same safety and efficacy standards that it requires for Tylenol? Hundreds of public comments have poured into the FDA
ahead of two days of hearings that begin Monday. The agency said it wants more data to “better assess the risks and benefits” of homeopathic remedies, which have become a mainstay on modern pharmacy shelves, often sold alongside over-the-counter pharmaceutical drugs. Stores such as Whole Foods feature sections of homeopathic remedies aimed at treating conditions including allergies and heartburn. The FDA has not made any decisions about whether to change how it approaches homeopathic products, said Cynthia Schnedar, director of the Office of Compliance at the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “At this stage,” she said, “we are gathering information about whether to adjust our current enforcement policy.” The FDA has issued nearly 40 warning letters since 2009 to companies making homeopathic products, Schnedar said.”