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Homeopath charges dropped

11th January 2011

The General Pharmaceutical Council has dropped charges against pharmacies accused of advising people to take homeopathic medicine instead of malaria drugs.

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The move has been criticised as "shabby and irresponsible" by people who brought the action against the pharmacies involved.

The charges followed a secret investigation by Sense and Science and BBC Newsnight.

The director of Sense and Science, Tracey Brown, said "we may as well have no regulation of pharmacists at all".

The decision was made days following the statement made by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society that it was "shocked" that Ainsworth Pharmacy in London was still telling patients to take homeopathic pills rather than medicine for polio, typhoid and malaria. 

The original investigation revealed that some pharmacies recommended the use of homeopathic sugar pills as protection when patients wanted to travel to places with high malaria levels.

The government's Chief Scientist, Professor Sir John Beddington, told BBC News that "there is no scientific evidence to indicate that homeopathic remedies are efficacious and the fundamental underpinning of homeopathy seems to me to be scientific nonsense".

The General Pharmaceutical Council said: "Although the cases are now closed, the information gathered as part of the investigation including the original complaint may be taken into account if we receive any further complaints about the pharmacy professional in the future."

 

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