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Homeopathic products ‘should carry “”no scientific evidence”” labels’

By Steve Nowottny

Homeopathic products are ‘clearly not’ medicines and should carry labels warning that there is ‘no scientific evidence for homeopathy’, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society has said.

Responding to draft guidance on the advertising of homeopathic medicines published by the MHRA this week, the society expressed concerns that the public does not understand the principles on which homeopathy is based, and said there was ‘general confusion’ about the difference between homeopathic and herbal products.

The society said that labelling on a homepathic product should make it ‘very clear’ whether the efficacy of products had actually been demonstrated.

Under current rules, products are allowed to carry claims based on the traditional homeopathic use of the product.

But the RPS‘ chief scientific advisor Jayne Lawrence said: ‘Given the lack of clinical and scientific evidence to support homeopathy, the RPSGB does not endorse homeopathy as a form of treament.’

‘The society strongly believes that any advertising for any homeopathic product, regardless of its licensing status, needs to include the statements that there is no scientific evidence for homeopathy nor any evidence to support the clinical efficiacy of homeopathic products beyond a placebo effect.’

Last year the sale of homeopathic and herbal products in pharmacies hit the headlines after Paul Bennett, professional standards director at Boots, gave evidence to an inquiry by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee.

Mr Bennett admitted to MPs that there was ‘no evidence’ to prove the efficacy of a range of remedies sold by the pharmacy giant, such as arnica and St John’s wort, but said there was ‘certainly a consumer demand for these products’.

The MHRA has released draft guidance on the advertising of homeopathic medicines The MHRA has released draft guidance on the advertising of homeopathic medicines