David V Goliath
Full text with kind permission from the German HomeopathyWatchBlog (our translation)
Small producer of homeopathic medicine wins court case against six pharmaceutical companies who want to prohibit the sale of a homeopathic remedy. The six pharmaceutical companies admitted during the hearing that they want to have many more homeopathic medicine prohibited in future.
An unequal duel took place at the regional court in Darmstadt: six pharmaceutical companies sued a small producer of homeopathic medicine. But David defeated Goliath. On the 31st of January the court announced the verdict. The small producer can continue to sell the pills: the pharmaceutical companies lost their legal action.
The defendant – a pharmacy – produces a homeopathic remedy with the name of “HCG C30 Globuli”
(HCG 30C pills). The pharmaceutical companies wanted to get the court to prohibit the sale of this
remedy. The proceedings can be viewed at the website of the State of Hessen*, where it publishes court rulings and where the names of the six pharmaceutical companies are listed: Bayer, Lilly, Merz, Ratiopharm, Stada, Sanofi – represented by an Abmahnverein [an Association whose purpose is to warn against, among other things, anti-competitive practices].
The District Court decided in favour of the homeopathic pharmacy, who can continue to sell the pills.
The reasoning of the judgment: the fact “that because of the high dilution, the original substance in the pills is not verifiable by currently known scientific methods, does not lead to the conclusion that the original substance is not contained in the homeopathic medicine”.
It cannot be presumed that the consumer groups addressed in the sales advertisement are being misled, the court said. It has to be assumed “that the target audience is a group of people who are basically open to homeopathy and who know that the active substances in homeopathic medicines are of a lower dose than in products of conventional medicine”.
Followers of mainstream medicine are, according to the court, „not being addressed by the advertisement of the defendant, because it is clearly recognisable that a homeopathic medicine is being sold“.
In their verdict, the judges also explain something that could have far-reaching consequences. If the court had followed the view of the claimants, and presumed that a dilution of C30 does not contain any ingredient, it would lead to many homeopathic medicines not being permitted to be sold. The court adjudicated that “Such a de-facto prohibition can surely not be in the interest of consumers who – for whichever reasons – assume that homeopathic medicines, also in C30 dilution, can be effective”.
The judges stated in their verdict that the six pharmaceutical companies admit that they don’t just want one homeopathic remedy to be banned, but many more besides: “The claimant confirmed during the verbal hearing on 30.1.2020, that they are aiming for a ban of all homeopathic preparations of C30 dilution, and are preparing further warnings against other products with the name of the ingredient and a C30 dilution”.
This court hearing was evidently only the beginning of a legal campaign by the six pharmaceutical companies against producers of homeopathic medicines. The homeopathic community should prepare itself and be legally active.