Boiron homeopathic medicines are known worldwide for their quality. LoveToKnow spoke with Ludovic Rassat, president and chief executive officer of Boiron USA, about Boiron homeopathic medicines. Prior to this appointment in 2006, Rassat held various positions at Boiron USA, overseeing finance as well as sales to and education of healthcare professionals. He also previously worked at Delloite in France and France Telecom in Madrid, Spain. He is a graduate of the Institut Commercial Superieur in Paris, France. In 2008, Natural Food Merchandiser selected Rassat as one of its 40 under 40 for leaders in the natural product industry who demonstrate a spirit of innovation, leadership and community involvement. Rassat is a member of the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia Convention of the United States (HPCUS). He is an active member of the Regulatory Committee of the American Association of Homeopathic Pharmacists (AAHP). He is also a member of the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) and of the Philadelphia Chapter of the French-American Chamber of Commerce.
LoveToKnow (LTK): Can you tell us about Boiron Homeopathic products?
Ludovic Rassat (LR): Worldwide, Boiron is a $730 million public company with distribution in 80 countries. We have 4,000 employees worldwide, five manufacturing sites and 18 subsidiaries in varying countries with 60 distribution centers.
LTK: Please tell us more about Boiron products.
LR: Because their scope of use is very similar to other over-the-counter medicines, homeopathic medicines can be used as a first choice in treating many acute and chronic health conditions. Popular Boiron homeopathic medicines address allergies, coughs, colds, flu symptoms, stress, arthritis pain, sore muscles, teething pain, eye irritations, skin irritations, digestive issue, women's issues, and many other common conditions. These can work in conjunction with allopathic or conventional treatments without fear of side effects or drug interactions.
LTK: What is the history of the company?
LR: In 1932, twin brothers and French pharmacists Jean and Henri Boiron set out to fulfill a growing demand posed by a group of physicians: develop the necessary manufacturing expertise to prepare reliable homeopathic medicines for their patients. Today, as world leader in homeopathic medicines, Boiron is still an independent family pharmaceutical laboratory and still prides itself on quality manufacturing. Our U.S. subsidiary was established in 1983 with our headquarters currently located in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania.
Boiron Homeopathic Medicines
LTK: What new homeopathic medicines are you working on?
LR: In the last two years, the FDA advised that many common wintertime OTC medicines should not be given to children younger than 6 years of age. The panel examined the risks and benefits of cough suppressants, decongestants and antihistamines in children, and decided it was uncomfortable that the benefits of these ingredients for children were estimated based on using a fraction of the doses shown to benefit adults.
Boiron was able to fulfill a niche for children between 2 and 4 by offering homeopathic cough, cold and flu medicines, which do not contain any of the ingredients under question by the FDA. Since homeopathic medicines are not body-mass dependent, there's no need to give more or less medicine depending on weight. Boiron has a Children's Chestal® Honey cough syrup for children ages 2 and up and recently introduced Children's Oscillococcinum® for flu-like symptoms for children ages 2 and up and Children's Coldcalm® Pellets, a multi-symptom cold reliever for children age 3 and up.
LTK: Please share some information on the efficacy of homeopathic medicines.
LR: Homeopathic medicines are used by millions of consumers in the U.S. and throughout the world. In fact, a growing number of American families are using homeopathic medicines as a first-line of treatment for a number of acute or chronic conditions either alone or in conjunction with conventional medicine. These consumers have the assurance that homeopathic medicines have been used successfully for over 200 years.
Today, an increasing number of scientific studies on homeopathy are being conducted, and in recent years, more than 150 of these studies have been published in medical journals. Clinical research is providing evidence of the efficacy of homeopathic medicines, and basic laboratory research is confirming the biological activity of highly-diluted substances and helping the scientific community better understand their mechanism of action.
LTK: How are Boiron homeopathic medicines made?
LR: Since the passing of the 1938 federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, homeopathic medicines have been regulated as drugs by the United States Food and Drug Administration. To be accepted as a homeopathic medicine by the FDA, product ingredients must be identified in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States or generally accepted as homeopathic under the principles of homeopathy. All Boiron homeopathic medicines are manufactured according to the highest standards, complying with specifications of the HPUS as well as drug Good Manufacturing Practices.
Like other over-the-counter medications, homeopathic medicines contain one or several active ingredients made from micro doses of natural substances from botanical, biological and mineral origins. The medicine is obtained from a precise and controlled process of successive homeopathic dilutions of the substances. With each homeopathic dilution, the medicine is de-concentrated and then vigorously shaken also called succession. They are manufactured in various dosage amounts and in several forms, including pellets, gel, ointment, cream, lotion, syrup, eye drops and suppositories.
LTK: Are homeopathic medicine safe?
LR: Homeopathic medicines are among the safest choices for self-treatment and are free of side effects. They do not interact with conventional medicines or herbal remedies, which allows patients to complement other treatments. They are not contraindicated with existing conditions, making them safe for even high-risk patients with heart disease or liver problems. Parents especially value the safety of homeopathic medicines because they are easy to dispense to children and pose no risk of overdose since they are not body-weight dependent. Another safety benefit is that homeopathic medicines do not mask symptoms. Because they work with the body instead of directly suppressing symptoms, patients, parents, and physicians are able to detect and respond faster should a more serious condition arise.
LTK: What is your most popular homeopathic medicine?
LR: Without a doubt, our most popular medicine is Oscillococcinum, also known as Oscillo for short. Oscillo is a best-selling homeopathic flu medicine in the U.S and it stands apart from other flu medicines because it reduces the duration and the severity of flu-like symptoms as evidenced by clinical studies. Oscillo nips flu-like symptoms in the bud when you feel achy or rundown with body aches, chills and fever. It's safe for the whole family-from two year olds to seniors. It does not have any side effects, interactions with other drugs, and is not contraindicated with pre-existing conditions.
LTK: How should people begin using homeopathic medicines?
LR: For individuals who are familiar with homeopathic medicines, they can choose a single medicine such as Arnica montana for muscles aches and bruises or Nux vomica for heartburn at their local health food store, natural products supermarket or independent pharmacy. For others less familiar with homeopathy, there are specialty medicines which treat a wide variety of symptoms for a particular health condition commonly combining more than one single medicine. These days, some of our homeopathic medicines like Oscillo, can be found easily in major chain stores and pharmacies right alongside their traditional counterparts. Consumers can explore the various medicines available and the many conditions they can treat on our website, boironusa.com, as well take one of our interactive online trainings on the basics of homeopathy.
To learn more about Boiron USA, visit the company's blog, which is updated several times a week with product and educational information.