Concern over change to homoeopathy rules

GPs have voiced concerns over changes made by the MHRA to the UK regulations on homoeopathic medicines.

The new regulations, introduced in September, allow homoeopathic medicines to include information about the treatment and relief of the ailments for which they are intended to be used.

Homoeopathic medicines do not have to provide evidence of effectiveness from clinical trials as conventional medicines must. Their manufacturers only need to show that the product has been used to treat the particular condition within the homoeopathic industry.
Coventry GP Dr Chris Taggart said: ‘It is worrying that homoeopathic medicines can make claims without being evidence-based. Homoeopathic medicines should go through the same levels of testing as conventional drugs.’

He added that some patients did use homoeopathic medicines and find that they work. However, he said it was not in patients’ best interest to use them because it was not known if they were actually proven to work or if the patients were simply experiencing a placebo effect.

Charity Sense about Science, which aims to encourage an evidence-based approach to science, said that 600 doctors and scientists had signed a statement, saying that the policy was ‘damaging to patients’ best interests’.

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