Why the FDA Is About to Crack Down on Homeopathic Drugs

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is launching a crackdown on homeopathic drugs marketed with false claims which could actually put consumers’ health at risk, the agency announced Monday.

FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb laid out the rationale in stark terms. “In recent years, we’ve seen a large uptick in products labeled as homeopathic that are being marketed for a wide array of diseases and conditions, from the common cold to cancer,” Gottlieb said in a statement.

Homeopathy is an alternative medicine approach that’s drawn significant ire among the scientific community (and widely labeled as pseudoscience) but embraced by some Americans who prefer medical treatments they believe to be more “natural.” Generally, homeopathy treatments are made up of highly diluted doses of natural substances that might cause symptoms of a disease.

The FDA said that it will focus on homeopathic products that have ingredients with reported safety concerns, especially those that are targeted toward children or marketed for serious conditions like cancer and heart disease.

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