Next Month I'm 'Overdosing'

On February 5 at 5:23 pm in Morgantown, WV, I am going to 'overdose', along with a group of my WV Skeptics friends, on homeopathy. I found a supplier who can get me a bottle of 200c! I don't even know what it's supposed to 'treat'. It doesn't matter. I mean, how strong is that?! 200c? Holy moses, I'll be dead in an instant! Or will I? There'll be video so you'll have to stay tuned to see if I live to blog another day.

My group, WV Skeptics, has joined the 10:23 Campaign, a global protest against alternative therapies like homeopathy. We think doctors and pharmacists should sell medical treatments that actually work.

Here is our press release. We sent it out to all the local media. So far I don't think anyone has picked up the story:

Consumers in the United States stage homeopathic 'overdose'

Consumer rights activists across America have today announced their intention to take a mass homeopathic 'overdose' next month, as part of a major global protest against the alternative remedies.

Protestors in Morgantown, WV will swallow huge ‘doses’ of homeopathic pills and preparations at 5:23pm on February 5th 2011, in a bid to raise public awareness of the fact that homeopathic 'remedies' are ineffective - putting pressure on pharmacists and healthcare providers to ensure that products sold as medical treatments actually work.

Timothy Nelms, MD, spokesman for the group, said: “Most people aren't aware that homeopathic pills are not 'herbal' or 'natural' – even homeopaths agree the pills actually contain nothing but sugar and water.

It is fraudulent for anyone to claim there are active ingredients in these preparations. My recommendation is the use of the best current, scientific, evidence-based approach to illness - homeopathy fails to meet this standard.”

The demonstration is being organized by WV Skeptics [1] as part of the 10:23 Campaign [2] - a global protest against the homeopathic remedies originating in the United Kingdom. Similar events will be taking place in dozens of countries around the world, with protests announced in Germany, Hungary, Australia and Canada.

Michael Marshall, coordinator of the international campaign, said: “We intend to show that there is a growing feeling around the world that enough time and money has been wasted on homeopathic remedies.

In the two hundred years these treatments have existed, there has never been anything to suggest they work – and because they're nothing but sugar and water, they couldn't possibly do the things homeopaths claim they can do.

Tens of billions of pounds are spent every year around the world on these ineffective remedies, and when told what they really are, and how they're made, most people are shocked these useless treatments are still able to be sold to an unsuspecting public”.

The 10:23 Campaign launched a year ago in the UK, with almost 400 protestors taking part in 'overdose' events across the country following an admission by Britain's leading pharmacy that the pills are only sold because consumers will buy them, not because they are effective[3]. The campaign is named after 'Avogadro's Number' [4] – a scientific constant which can be used to show homeopathic potions contain no active ingredients.

Though some would argue dispensing sugar pills may seem harmless, the endorsement of homeopathic potions by pharmacists and healthcare providers has grave consequences. As well as undermining public trust in medicine and medical advice, patients with serious conditions can avoid seeking medical attention in the belief that homeopathy can treat their condition. An investigation by the BBC in January 2011 revealed that homeopaths were willing to give travelers ineffective homeopathic 'preparations' to use in place of real anti-malarial drugs [5], as well as ineffective homeopathic alternatives to vaccinations [6].

The 10:23 Campaign is organizing protests in more than twenty-three cities across ten countries on February 5th, 2011.

Notes for editors:
[1] WV Skeptics is part of and
[2] The 10:23 Campaign is a network of skeptical groups which aims to raise awareness of the reality of homeopathy – how we know it doesn't work and why it is important that patients should be given the right information to allow them to make an informed decision about their health.

Local contact: Timothy Nelms, MD
International contact: Michael Marshall / / +44 7841 134 309


  1. Homeopathy – premise: Like cures like; in other words, the body is healed by ingesting concoctions made of substances that bring about the same symptoms you are trying to rid yourself of… Patently absurd, and of course, Zero proof. It gets better: the “stronger” the concoction you ingest, the weaker it actually is – To make the potion (I refuse to call it medicine)stronger, you put in exponentially less of the active ingredient! As anyone who has any knowledge of this hocum is aware, the potions are so diluted as to have absolutely none, zero, zip, of the so called active ingredient – not a molecular trace – the equivalent of a drop of water in the ocean. Skeptics like Randi have much to say on this topic. Bottom line: placebo effect (which is “real” in certain instances, but that's another topic); Many of the maladies treated, like most benign, temporary health problems, will, in time, simply resolve on their own – due to their inherent pathologies and/or the bodies immune system doing it’s incredible (evolved) job. Bottom line: the moment “alternative” medicine works, it is no longer “alternative”, it is simply medicine. Homeopathy is not medicine.
    Are there any demonstrations in the US of A? I live in Texas - the "DFW" area - I would love to participate in such an event! I am astonished how many products on the shelf at any given drugstore or mega-mart (around here it's CVS, Walgreens, Wal-Mart, etc) are actually homeopathic - it is barely visible on the label, and I'm sure many people don't even know (or care) what that means. I'm generally not for more governmental regulations, but the whole "health food," supplement, herbal industry is long overdue an enema - or should I say "colonic irrigation"?