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Regulatory status of homeopathy in Germany

Homeopathic practice

In Germany, there is no legal monopoly on the practice of medicine. Both medical doctors and non-medically qualified practitioners (Heilpraktiker) are allowed to practise medicine. There are, however, some restrictions on the performance of particular medical acts. Only medical doctors are allowed to treat sexual diseases, treat communicable and epidemic diseases, deliver specific medications, give or provide anaesthetics and narcotics, practise obstetrics and gynaecology, take X-rays, perform autopsies, and deliver death certificates. Infringement may result in penal punishment.

Both medical doctors and non-medically qualified practitioners are allowed to use CAM therapies, including homeopathy.

In 1978 homeopathy was recognised by German law in the Medicinal Products Act – "Arzneimittelgesetz" – in section 25, sub (2) 2. and section 105, sub 4f as a particular therapeutic approach – "Besondere Therapierichtung".

The Bundesärztekammer (Federal Medical Council) confers the additional qualification "Homeopathic doctor" to medical doctors who have successfully passed an examination in homeopathy. Homeopathy is an official part of the advanced training programme of the Bundesärztekammer (latest adaption in 2003), but this is a limited level of only 100 hours of education. A higher level training course, provided by the German Central Union of Homeopathic Physicians DZVhÄ and compliant with the ECH Medical Homeopathic Educational standard, is increasingly warranted by insurance companies.


Homeopathic medicines

Directive 2001/83/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Community code relating to medicinal products for human use, which includes homeopathic medicinal products, has been implemented by the most recent consolidation of the Arzneimittelgesetz (Medicines Act), §§ 38 and 39.

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