Homoeopathy debate hurts Boiron in France

Homoeopathy debate hurts Boiron in France
Boiron is one of 18 organisations backing the "Mon Homéo, Mon Choix" campaign in France

3 May 2019 - Deborah Wilkes

Boiron said sales in its home market of France fell by 9.3% in the first quarter of 2019 as the country debated whether homoeopathy should be delisted from reimbursement.

The French homoeopathy specialist is one of 18 organisations behind a new campaign called "Mon Homéo, Mon Choix", which translates as "My Homoeopathy, My Choice". Lehning and Weleda are also supporting the campaign to retain reimbursement, along with patient groups and professional organisations.

Boiron said homoeopathy had been the subject of "serious unjustified criticisms and untruth". The company highlighted an Ipsos study carried out in March 2019, which found that 85% of private general practitioners prescribed homoeopathy to their patients.

On 7 January 2019, the Collège National des Généralistes Enseignants (CNGE), a general practitioners group, said homoeopathy was no more effective than a placebo.
The CNGE added that the 30% reimbursement level for homoeopathy in France was "based on an arbitrary ministerial exemption".

Performance by region

The majority of Boiron's turnover, 59.3%, was generated in France where sales of EUR83.4 million (USD93.2 million) were down by 9.3% compared to the first quarter of 2018.

Sales in the rest of Europe were down by 1.9% at constant exchange rates to EUR31.8 million. Boiron said there had been declines in Spain, Poland and Belgium.

Sales in North America dropped by 26.0% at constant exchange rates to EUR23.6 million, and sales in other countries were down by 6.8% to EUR4.52 million.

Boiron noted the large fall in the US was in part due to the comparison with the same period a year earlier when sales had risen by 75.9%.

Worldwide sales decreased by 10.8% at constant exchange rates to EUR143 million in the first quarter of 2019. Including the impact of currency translations, sales as reported were down by 10.1% compared to the first quarter of 2018.

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