Government's chief scientific advisor backed on homeopathy

The government's chief scientific advisor has been supported by the Faculty of Homeopathy in the wake of criticism from MPs.

Photograph: iStockphoto/ Tommy Martin
Photograph: iStockphoto/ Tommy Martin

Dr Sara Eames, president of the Faculty of Homeopathy and a former GP, said that the NHS existed to help patients, not to argue about statistics.

MPs had expressed concern that Professor John Beddington had failed to defend evidence-based science.

Dr Eames told Healthcare Republic: ‘How interesting that when the chief government scientific officer takes an unbiased look at the evidence for homeopathy, he is pilloried by the usual vocal band of campaigners against homeopathy. They have conveniently failed to mention that an Early Day Motion supporting the Homeopathic Hospitals on the NHS was signed by over 200 MPs.’

She added: ‘The majority of meta-analyses of homeopathic trials suggest an effect over and above the placebo effect and lists a number of clinical conditions including allergies and upper respiratory tract infections, childhood diarrhoea and influenza where there is more than one positive trial in favour of homeopathy.

‘Add to this large positive outcome studies from the homeopathic hospitals, studies from GP practices showing reduced prescribing costs when using homeopathic remedies and the many thousands of patients who have been helped when all else has failed and it becomes increasingly difficult to ignore the benefits of homeopathy.

‘I fully support the science report where Professor Beddington claims that more research is required and hope that this can include ‘real world’ outcomes and cost effectiveness. The NHS, after all, is there to help patients in all their complexities, not just to argue about statistics.’

tom.moberly@haymarket.com

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