Homeopathy has a turbulent history in the US. In 1825, Hans Burch Gram came from Danmark, where he was tough in homeopathy, to New York. Homeopathy became a flourishing method because allopathy or conventional medicine at that time was exactly like Hahnemann had been described.
In 1833 Constantine Hering came in the USA and became the driving force, he founded the first national medical association, the AIH (American Institute of Homeopathy). Apparently as reaction, in 1836 the AMA (Americal Medical Association) was founded. Also other medical philosophies “contaminated” homeopathy. But James Tyler Kent was for more than 30 years a counteracting force and homeopathy flourished even more.
Only Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Naturopathy are alternative systems which are licensed in the US widely presently. In practice this means that the USA does not have many famous homeopaths known in the world homeopathic community, those homeopaths are not united enough to convince science or the federal government of its importance and the public does not understand what it is really about
In the United States, homeopathic remedies, like all health-care products, are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. However, the FDA treats homeopathic remedies very differently from conventional medicines. Homeopathic products do not need FDA approval before sale; they do have to be proven safe per the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994
In a Time Magazine article in 1995, it was reported that homeopathy was enjoying a wider range of popular support as well as use by celebrities such as Rush Limbaugh, Linda Wagner, and Larry King.
Homeopathy has a substantial presence in the United States health care system. Both public and professional interest in these therapies is increasing. The College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University and the Falk Institute of Pittsburgh University have research projects devoted to assigning an integrative role in the health care system to complementary/alternative therapies.
In 1991, Congress established the Office of Alternative Medicine within the National Institutes of Health to encourage scientific research in the field. The National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act of June 1993 was a landmark.
Estimated expenditures for professional complementary/alternative medical services increased 45.2% between 1990 and 1997. For 1997, these expenditures are conservatively estimated at $21.2 billion with at least $12.2 billion of this paid out-of- pocket. Total 1997 out-of-pocket expenditures relating to complementary/alternative therapies are conservatively estimated at $27 billion, which is comparable with the projected 1997 out-of-pocket expenditures for all physician services. Just over half of
patients (64% in 1990 and 58.3% in 1997) of complementary/alternative medical practitioners pay entirely out-of-pocket for the services.
Approximately 3000 allopathic physicians and other health care practitioners currently use homeopathy
The market for homeopathic medicine in the United States is a multi-million dollar industry. Homeopathic remedies are recognized and regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and are manufactured by pharmaceutical companies under strict guidelines.
Developments in the USA
In the USA in 1998 the Congress established the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) at the National Institutes of Health that is charged to ‘conduct basic and applied research (intramural and extramural), research training, and disseminate health information and other programmes with respect to identifying, investigating, and validating CAM treatments, diagnostic and prevention modalities, disciplines and systems’.
The White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy (WHCCAMP) was established in March 2000 to address issues related to access and delivery of CAM, priorities for research, and the need for better education of consumers and health care professionals about CAM.
The Commission’s primary task is to provide, through the Secretary of Health and Human Services, legislative and administrative recommendations for ensuring that public policy maximizes the potential benefits of CAM therapies to consumers.
,provision of guidance on the appropriate access to and delivery of CAM.
The NCCAM’s annual budget was $ 122 million in fiscal year 2006, which is 0.4 % of the total budget of the National Institutes of Health.