It started with Dr Batra's Positive Health Clinic about a decade ago and the founder Dr Mukesh Batra is the man who has transformed the image of Homeopathy at least in India. Once it was seen as poor man's medicine but after the transformation, Homeopathy as offered by Dr Batra and the like is an expensive treatment that claims to cure holistically by natural substance a myriad of illnesses including incurable diseases like hair loss and rheumatoid arthritis. Now a few others have joined the band wagon and the notables are Bakson's Homeopathy and Dr Health who all enjoy an enviable advantage of being able to openly advertise in main stream media for cure of diseases which is not allowed for the conventional medicine system.
This discriminatory and highly questionable policy of our government and regulators has definitely helped the five star homeopathy clinics to gain market share and turn out to be big businesses for their promoters. We all know despite tremendous advancement in medicine many of the common diseases and conditions are yet not curable and only can be treated to some extent but when someone claims to cure them through some holistic system and natural substance the appeal is huge and that's why people flock to these clinics hoping against hope that some cure might be there in the knowledge of these self proclaimed prodigal doctors which can change the lives of the affected people.
It is not surprising that these super specialty homeopathy clinics always target the diseases and conditions that are very common in incidence like hair loss yet having very limited treatment success in scientific medicine system. You can clearly see the hype if you closely look at their advertisements. You will see the scramble between these competing homeopathy clinics to claim who has the India's first trichologist (another bad science) as if only the person who studies a science first can have all the knowledge.
The author has some first hand knowledge about the treatment procedure of Dr Batra's clinic which raises eyebrows about the genuineness and ethical dimension of the business. If you happen to see a doctor in these clinics you will not be given a prescription and you have to buy the medicines only from them. It sounds very strange but it is true that whether you go for hay fever, eczema, headache or hair loss all the treatment will cost at least few thousands and the same treatment period which is generally one year.
But you need not develop a bias from one incident or an individual experience; there are hundreds of reviews written in product review sites and blogs, which you may read, and find out that many of the actual recipients of treatment in these clinics, have openly questioned the claim and efficacy of this form of medicine. Also there are news in press about raids in Dr Batra's clinics and recovery of spurious drugs and medicines. So all these put together do not paint a good picture of these marketing oriented homeopathy clinics.
Let us also not forget the fact that the very foundation of homeopathy is yet to be backed by any credible scientific evidence. In most countries including India it is not covered under any insurance scheme and there is strong suspicion in public about the claim of homeopathic water and its healing property.
Despite all this it is highly unfortunate that the Indian consumers are made to fall prey to some unfounded alternative medicine system just because these companies have money and are allowed to advertise in way that is completely illegal otherwise. The holistic way of treatment is highly questionable and so also its natural cure claim but one thing is very clear that super specialty Homeopathy is selling fast in this country of ever increasing affluent middle class who do not have problem to pay a big sum of money if someone can make them feel better and give hope.
I have not seen any study conducted in a scientific way by these clinics which support their tall claims but they are minting money in the name of cure. Also I don't see any reason why the doctors of these clinics can't issue a prescription if they consider it be a branch of medicine and not a para science. Many of these questions continue to be unanswered and there is an uncomfortable silence but it does not matter as the repackaged Homeopathy has turned out to be a big money spinner lately.
Jaydeep Bhattacharjee writes on consumer issues concerning the Indian consumers. He is the founder of http://www.admanya.com - India's leading C2C portal. Admanya is free and it completely depends on consumer participation for its content. Join Admanya and be an empowered consumer - you can read or write a review about almost any product or service.