A new study published by the University of South Pennington shows that Homeopathic drug reps are no more effective at convincing homeopaths to use certain brand-name homeopathic products than a placebo pill.
“Quite frankly, the results are not that surprising,” stated lead author James Spurling. “Alt-med practitioners are extremely amenable about any remedy that comes their way. Any suggestion from any source that a pill works will convince alt-med practitioners to use it. Even a sugar-pill will suffice.”
The study design involved a group of homeopathic drug reps speaking to a total of 201 drug reps vs sugar pills dropped in front of a total of 177 homeopaths during their lunch break. The researchers who dropped the sugar pill in front of the homeopaths said aloud only the name of a random herb plus a symptom before walking away.
Results of the study showed that homeopaths were as likely to use the herb associated with the placebo as they were to use the remedy championed by the homeopathic drug rep. Any attempts made by the drug reps (including providing lunch, asking homeopaths about their personal lives, or hiring sexy young 20-somethings who unbutton the top button to show just a little bit of chest hair) did not affect the results of the trial.
“I think this says more about suggestibility of homeopaths than it does the inefficacy of their drug reps,” said esteemed magician James Randi, unprompted after trespassing into our office.
The British Homeopathic Association was reached for comment but did not answer or return our calls.
When asked about whether he wanted to recreate the same study but in a allopathic medicine setting, Sparling replied, “I won’t. I’m too scared that we would get the same results.”