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Ten PCTs pull NHS funding for homeopathy

By Lilian Anekwe

A prescribing advisory group covering ten PCTs has stepped in to prevent commissioners from funding homeopathic treatments, claiming the effects are not significant enough to warrant NHS cash.

The ruling by prescribing advisors in Manchester follows the Department of Health's decision last month to reject the Science and Technology Committee's call for a national ban on NHS funding for homeopathic treatment. The DH said that it was instead up to local commissioners to decide whether requests should be funded on a 'case-by-case basis'.

The Greater Manchester Medicines Management Group (GMMMG) has told PCTs and commissioners across the region that homeopathic treatments cannot be recommended, as an independent review commissioned by another trust, NHS West Kent, found they are neither clinically nor cost effective.

Tim Evans, chair of the GMMMG and chief executive of NHS Bolton, told Pulse he was keen not to appear to be wasting NHS resources.

‘We are trying to standardise our approach across Greater Manchester so that we don't have postcode prescribing. We want the public to know that we are making conscious decisions about what our priorities our for NHS funds,' he said.

‘The review concluded homeopathy does not have a significant enough impact to warrant the use of NHS funds, and that PCT resources should instead be directed toward other treatments.'

‘The prescribing, referral and recommendation of homeopathy is a low priority and cannot be supported.'

The DH says homeopathy should be funded on a case by case basis Read more on...

Homeopathy and other complementary therapies in our blog from Professor Edzard Ernst.