Three-quarters back regulation for herbal medicines

Three-quarters of UK adults agree that herbal medicines should be regulated, according to an Ipsos MORI poll for the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Photograph: iStockphoto/Jesus Jauregui
Photograph: iStockphoto/Jesus Jauregui

The poll of a nationally representative sample of 2,305 adults found that 77% agreed it is important that herbal medicines are regulated, with the figure rising to 87% amongst users.

Doctors have been used as a source of information about the risks or benefits of herbal medicines by 17%.

Historically, most OTC herbal medicines in the UK have been sold as unlicensed herbal remedies under the Medicine Act 1968.

The UK traditional herbal registration scheme was launched in 2005 and requires products to meet assured standards of safety, quality and patient information.

There is a transitional period for some existing unlicensed products until 2011.

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