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MPs call for end to NHS funding of homeopathy

By Ian Quinn

MPs have called on the Government to scrap the funding of homeopathy on the NHS, backing overwhelming calls earlier this month from GPs.

The Commons science and technology committee also insisted the MHRA should not allow homeopathic product labels to make medical claims without evidence of efficacy.

They are not medicines and homeopathic products should no longer be licensed by the MHRA, it concluded.

The MPs' call follows an investigation to test if the Government's policies on homeopathy were based on sound evidence.

It also comes just weeks after a Pulse survey of nearly 800 GPs, of whom 80% said the NHS should not continue funding for homeopathy.

The BMA has also attacked plans to allow patients to pay for services such as homeopathy as part of the personal budgets pilots.

Phil Willis MP, chair of the science and technology committee, said: ‘This was a challenging inquiry which provoked strong reactions. We were seeking to determine whether the Government's policies on homeopathy are evidence-based. They are not.

‘It sets an unfortunate precedent for the Department of Health to consider the existence of a community that believes homeopathy works is 'evidence' enough to continue spending public money on it. We await the Government's response to our report with interest.'

The DH said it would consider the report over the coming weeks, but added: ‘Our view is the local NHS and clinicians, rather than Whitehall, are best placed to make decisions on what treatment is appropriate - including homeopathy.'

A House of Commons committee has ruled that homeopathy should not be funded by the NHS A House of Commons committee has ruled that homeopathy should not be funded by the NHS