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Friday 28th October 2016

Homeopathy regulation fear

1st September 2006

11082006_omega-3_2.jpgCritics say that patients will be put at risk by a new regulatory system being brought in for homeopathic medicine.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is introducing rules to allow remedies to specify the ailments for which they can be used, but critics are concerned the treatments will not be rigorously tested as they do not need to undergo the clinical trials to get a licence.

The new 'National Rules Scheme' means that homeopathic products will receive a licence if they can provide data proving the treatments are safe, however they will have not have to produce evidence of efficacy from clinical trials.

They will be able to indicate what sort of symptoms they can relieve, although limited to minor ailments such as colds, coughs and hay fever. Manufacturers need only show that the product has been used to treat those particular conditions within the homeopathic industry. 

The MHRA, in its consultation, said failure to introduce the new system would inhibit the industry's expansion, which has caused critics to complain that the MHRA has been partly motivated by a desire to boost the homeopathic industry.

The MHRA have said its key motivations were "protecting consumers and promoting choice" rather than boosting the industry. Penny Viner, of the British Association of Homeopathic Manufacturers, said: "The provisions will both encourage growth in the range of products on the market and enhance the consumer's understanding of their benefits."

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