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MPs say NHS should stop funding homeopathy

22nd February 2010

The health service should not spend public money on homeopathy, according to a report by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee. 


The Committee, which is made up of MPs from different political parties, said evidence did not exist to support anything beyond a placebo effect from the treatment.

It is estimated that the NHS spends around £4 million every year on homeopathy, which includes funding four hospitals in London, Liverpool, Bristol and Glasgow.

Homeopaths treat patients by giving them tiny amounts of substances which may be responsible for the condition they suffer from. 

The Committee said the only reason people got better was because they thought the treatment would work and it had a psychosomatic effect.

The MPs said the treatment was not reliable and could cause delays in diagnosing conditions if the patient's symptoms went away but the condition remained.

They were also critical of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency for letting medical assertions be made.

Committee chairman Phil Willis said the Agency's approvals and funding provided by the NHS gave homeopathic treatments "a badge of authority that is unjustified".

A Department of Health spokesperson said the government would respond to the Committee's report and added: "Our view is that the local NHS and clinicians, rather than Whitehall, are best placed to make decisions on what treatment is appropriate for their patients - this includes complementary or alternative treatments such as homeopathy."


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Article Information

Title: MPs say NHS should stop funding homeopathy
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 14149
Date Added: 22nd Feb 2010


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