Doctors slam NHS homeopathy

Homeopathic remedies should no longer be funded or commissioned on the NHS, doctors believe.

Shropshire LMC chairman Dr Mary McCarthy said scarce NHS resources should not be spent on treatments that 'have no firm evidence base'. 'Let's leave homeopathy to be funded by those who want to use it and believe in it,' she told the conference.

But Dr John Garner, of the BMA's Lothian division, warned that patients with 'undiagnosable symptoms' can find benefit in homeopathy.

'I would prefer to continue prescribing homeopathic medicine so patients can continue to see me, rather than dismiss them with conventional medicine and risk alienating them when their symptoms change and serious pathology emerges,' he said.

A separate strand of the motion, which called for pharmacists to place homeopathic remedies on shelves labelled 'placebos', was also carried.

A DoH statement after the vote said: 'Although we don't hold central data on spending on homeopathy across the NHS, we do know that the cost is a tiny fraction (0.001 per cent) of the overall drugs bill.'

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