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THE DEVELOPMENT OF HOMŒOPATHY IN LITHUANIA
From the history of homœopathy
The development of homœopathy in Lithuania. L. Akramas, R. Balanaskiene (Lithuania)
The abstract presents historical review of development of homeopathy in Lithuania, including opening of homeopathic pharmacies. It also gives causes for slow growth of homeopathic treatment in the country. There is a big choice of homeopathic preparations at the market, and 5-8 years ago, foreign companies became popular (DHU, HEEL, BOIRON). The homeopathic market is strongly controlled and regulated by the state institutions. At present there are several homeopathic organizations uniting homeopaths of different branches. In 2003, the league of Lithuanian homeopathy became a member of LMHI.
The Hahnemann’s science had followers in the whole world and in Lithuania as well. The first homeopathic pharmacy was set up in Vilnius in 1864, and later in 1884, it was opened in Kaunas. At that moment, the societies of homeopathic followers were being found. The first Lithuanian book about homeopathic treatment was issued in Latvia in 1907. A pharmacy of Matulaitis and Mačius was opened in Kaunas in 1920. In 1984, this section was closed. In 1989, a homeopathic laboratory headed by A. Ivašauskienė was set up by the initiative of docent Kaikaris in the museum of Lithuanian medicine and pharmacy. In 1992, the work of the pharmacy was reorganized. At present the homeopathic pharmacy is headed by pharmacist O. Mikulėnienė and the head of production is R. Astrauskienė. The personnel of the pharmacy take part and support the scientific and research work, the improvement of doctors and pharmacists; store the homeopathic literature, which could be used by the doctors interested in homeopathy. In 1992, the association of Lithuanian homeopaths - LHA was set up in Kaunas, the first predecessors of which were the societies of Vilnius homeopathy followers and supporters of homeopathic treatment. In 1996, LHA organized the first courses for Lithuanian doctors. In 1999, the specialization of doctor-homœopath was legalized. In 2001, the League of medical homeopathy was set up and this year it joined the ranks of LMHI.
The growth and actual situation of homœopathy. Though having the tendency to grow the popularity of homeopathic preparations is growing rather slowly.
It is predetermined by several reasons:
1. Insufficient preparation of doctors-specialists.
2. Relatively small quantity of accredited doctors’ specialists. Yet in Lithuania, there are over 100 hundred accredited specialists of homeopathy. Considering the number and density of the population, it is definitely not enough.
3. The society lacks the information about the essence of the homeopathy and principles of self-treatment.
4. The procedure of preparation of the homeopathic preparations is relatively difficult.
5. There is no unanimous agreement and concept between the doctors and homeopaths and homeopathic organizations about the evaluation of the different concepts of homeopathy. For instance, some homeopaths accept only classical Hahnemann’s homeopathy ignoring the importance and benefits of the complex preparations. The priority for the others is homotoxicology, and others concepts of homeopathic branches. As long as there is such disunity, there will be no favourable conditions for the homeopathy to grow. The skeptics of the homeopathy take advantage of it and sometimes try to influence governmental authorities. For instance, last year there was a real threat that the homeopathic medicine will be transferred into the category of prescribed medicine in Lithuania. The officers from the centre of drug registration presented such an argument. If the medicine is prescribed individually, then it has to be only the prescribed one in order the man himself could not get it without the prescription.
In the meantime, there is a big choice of homeopathic preparations of different companies at the market. It includes over two hundred registered complex and monocomponent homeopathic preparations. Despite the abundance of registered preparations, in fact there are about one hundred homeopathic medicines at the market, of which only several makes the biggest market share. The most popular foreign companies like DHU, HEEL, BOIRON made a lodgement on Lithuanian market 5-8 years ago. At present, the complex and monocomponents preparations produced in Lithuania by company Aconitum became very popular. This company is distinguished by its orientation not only to the production of complex preparations but also it produces many popular monocomponent preparations (e.g.., Echinacea, Ignatia, Arnica, Nux vomica, etc.). Besides the production, following the traditions of homeopathy is done by hand. Last year the complex preparation for nerve soothing “Acosedum” produced by company “Aconitum” was awarded by the title of a best product of a year. This prize was founded by the confederation of Lithuanian industrialists, which is headed by the president of the biggest industrial amalgamation in Lithuania “Achema group” and ex-prime-minister of Lithuanian government - Mr. Bronislovas Lubys.
In the biggest cities, there are one or several specialized homeopathic pharmacies, which could produce unitary homeopathic medicine according to the individual orders of doctors-homeopaths. It gives the possibility to individualize the treatment according to the constitutional type of a human being and other features. All homeopathic preparations could be acquired only at the pharmacies. It is because they belong to the group of medicine, i.e. the law regulations for the pharmaceutical activity are valid like for all other drugs. During the last several years, a new order became valid, which defined that the homeopathic medicine could be sold only by the pharmacists having the higher pharmaceutical education and having passed the 36 hours’ homeopathic course of improvement of postdiploma study organized by Kaunas Medical University. Without finishing this course, the pharmacists could not sell the homeopathic medicines even if they have the master degree in pharmacy. However, this year a new law amendment on pharmaceutical activity came in force and this rule was rejected.
Though the homeopathic medicine in Lithuania could be acquired without the prescription, i.e. by the patient himself, very often such medicines are prescribed also by the doctors of general practice or some other fields. The right to prescribe homeopathic medicine can have any working doctor having the doctor’s practice though if you want to become an accredited doctor- homeopath, it is necessary to finish the doctors’ improvement courses at Kaunas Medical University (KMU). This certificate does not grant any additional rights or qualification, but it reckons in the hours necessary for the doctors to extend their license of physician. Recently the order of preparation of homeopathy and other postdiploma courses has been much tightened. According to the new order the courses organized by public organizations or professional associations including and homeopathic organizations are not reckoned and there is no official acceptance if they are not approved by KMU or Vilnius University. It means that, for instance, after passing the course organized by homeopathic association, hours necessary to prolong the license or to raise the qualification won’t be reckoned in. From the point of view of traditional medicine, this order could be excused as the qualification of lecturers of Kaunas Medical University and other higher schools is undoubtful. But the homeopathic teaching suffer losses as at the Universities there are almost no experienced specialists of homeopathy who could prepare and accredit the teaching programs and guide such courses. The league of Lithuanian medical homeopathy proposed to prepare homeopathic teaching programs according to the experience of EC and especially such countries as Germany, which achieved a lot in this field and is the most experienced. However, the opinion of academic lecturers is a bit different – they want to create a model of their own. They try to create a program, which as such could be based on allopathic methods of treatment, making notice also about the principles of homeopathic treatment at the end. Such courses would be not the teaching of homeopathy, as most of lecturers according to the new order must be academic and not necessarily homeopaths-practitioners or at least having passed the homeopathic courses. Therefore, the market of homeopathic medicine in Lithuania is strongly controlled and regulated by the state institutions, which from one side stop the popularization of it, but on the other hand, it limits the possibilities to misuse the homeopathic treatment and make treatment mistakes. This system differs very much from such countries as the USA, Canada, England where homeopathic preparations are sold even at the specialized food shops and there is no need for the personnel to finish not only the specialized accredited higher school courses but also in general to have a higher pharmacological education. By the way, there are also countries where it is permitted for the persons without higher medical education to practice homeopathy. The registration of homeopathic medicine in Lithuania is also much more complicated and more strict requirements are applied to documentations than in some western countries. It is especially complicated to register even a monocomponent homeopathic preparation, to show the field of its use. Sometimes the registration experts do not accept even the German Commission D (this commission specializes in the field of homeopathy and most probably is the most experienced in Europe in evaluation of various sources of literature) approved sources of literature, not mentioning the monographs of well-known homeopaths. I‘ll give you an example. For instance, a preparation, the components of which more specifically affect the case of allergic snuffle, is being registered. However, to write such field of application is forbidden as the clinical studies demand, so the material of the bibliographical sources is not enough. Then you have to write non-specific field of application, for instance, nose drops, cold complaint and so on. In such a way the application field of such a preparation becomes floating and not always corresponds to the more specific treatment.
Currently in Lithuania there are several homeopathic organizations uniting the homeopathic specialists of various branches: the centre of Homeopathic medicine, association of Lithuanian homeopaths, and the league of medicinal homeopathy, association of Homotoxicology and antihomotoxic therapy. Though these organizations have many common aims and regulations, they unite doctors, homeopaths, pharmacists of various trends and even specialists from other fields. This year the league of Lithuanian medical homeopathy became a member of International medicinal homeopathy league. The representatives of it, 2002, took part in the 57-th LMHI homeopathy congress in Moscow, and this year - in 58th congress in Graz.
Развитие гомеопатии в Литве. Л. Акрамас, Р. Баланашкене (Литва)
Статья представляет исторический обзор развития гомеопатии в Литве, включая открытие гомеопатических аптек. Она также даёт причины медленного роста гомеопатического лечения в стране. На рынке существует большой выбор гомеопатических препаратов, а 5-8 лет назад стали популярны препараты иностранных компаний (DHU, HEEL, BOIRON). Гомеопатический рынок строго контролируется и регулируется государственными структурами. В настоящее время существует несколько организаций, объединяющих гомеопатов различных направлений. В 2003 году Лига литовских гомеопатов стала членом LMHI.
Украинский гомеопатический ежегодник: Анализ гомеопатического фармацевтического рынка вЛитве: состояние и перспективы