Valérie Lorentz-Poinsot, CEO of Boiron laboratories: “We are particularly mistreated by the authorities”

Ms. Valérie Lorentz-Poinsot, CEO of Laboratoires Boiron, kindly answered five questions on the situation of homeopathy and Laboratoires Boiron. Let’s take stock together of this medicine, which is also decried with virulence by some and used daily by more than half of the French daily.

François Lehn: Homeopathy and Boiron Laboratories have had to weather three storms lately: The denigration of homeopathy as effective medicine, reimbursement and the Covid-19 pandemic. What are the consequences for you: social, economic, R&D? How are Boiron Laboratories doing?

We have indeed recently gone through three major crises which have put the company under pressure. But we are facing up and we are giving ourselves the means to move forward.
The denigration of homeopathy followed by the announcement of its delisting had extremely serious consequences since we are obliged to set up a PSE (Editor’s note: job safeguard plan). Our business is down nearly 30% in two years. We have to close part of our establishments and a production site in France. It is all the more scandalous that with time we could have made the adjustments without pain. By playing on natural departures and the mobility of employees.

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Added to this was the Covid crisis. And it must be said that our employees have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment and demonstrated a very strong adaptability. We continued to produce our medicines throughout the confinement while initiating the production of hydroalcoholic solution for the French blood establishment or pharmacies.

The year 2021 will be a year of continuous innovations: homeopathy is and will remain our core business, our crucible, our primary expertise.

FL: You are obviously not keeping both feet in the same shoe. Recently, you announced a diversification of laboratory activity and the launch of new health products. Can you explain this new strategy to us, which is outside of classic homeopathic medicines, and tell us a few words about what’s to come?

Yes, we have taken advantage of the confinement period to work tirelessly and be able to continue to offer several innovations and new products at the end of the year. Our strategy aims to strengthen us in our field of excellence which is homeopathy, without prohibiting us from other sectors as long as they are in accordance with our values ​​and our ambition to treat without harm. Our new range of probiotics “Osmobiotic Flora” will be the first translation of this. Available in pharmacies in November, it provides each member of the family with a solution to maintain the balance of their intestinal microbiota. We will also offer a spray indicated for sore throats and a medicine for infant colic. We are determined and mobilized to strengthen our offer in homeopathy and beyond.

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FL: I understand that you are not admitting defeat and that you are trying to appeal to the Council of State to save homeopathy. Where is the process? Do you have good contacts? Good hopes?

Indeed, we filed an appeal with Rocal before the Council of State to request the cancellation of the decrees establishing the delisting of homeopathy. We should have the answer from the highest administrative court before the end of the year. So very quickly now. We have no sign that we’re going to win.

But beyond this approach, it should be noted that we are particularly mistreated by the authorities who have never moved a finger to take our context into account and try to limit the damage of a brutal, incomprehensible and destructive. Especially since we know that with a reimbursement rate of 15%, health insurance no longer reimburses anything to patients in the general scheme who buy homeopathic medicines (cf. the Asterès study).

FL: Boiron is a global player in homeopathy. If homeopathy suffered very hard blows in France and in Europe, what is the state of health of this medicine in the world?

France is the last country to have known a polemic of great brutality with catastrophic consequences. But overall, things are changing and we are pushing hard for health professionals to adopt an integrative vision of medicine. The time is no longer for sterile oppositions, for turf wars pitting one specialty against another. Patients naturally want the best of each therapy and above all want their voices to be heard. Homeopathy is the best answer for this: it adapts to everyone and complements other therapies.

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FL: Pass on some of your optimism to homeopathy users and enthusiasts. How do you see the future of homeopathy and Boiron laboratories?

For me homeopathy is the future. It is incredibly modern: treating without harm, without harming the patient’s body but also without harming our planet. I think we will rediscover the virtues of this therapy as soon as we get out of these sterile debates. Our teams are doing a remarkable job and I know I can count on their commitment to meet all the challenges ahead of us.


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