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British MPs Tell Gov’t: Stop Funding Homeopathy

Posted in Science Based Pharmacy by Skepdude on February 22, 2010


In a clear statement on the absurdity of public funding and regulation of homeopathy, British MPs instructed government to stop paying for homeopathy, shut down homeopathic hospitals, cease all homeopathy clinical trials, and to crack down on homeopathic efficacy claims.

Committee chairman Phil Willis MP said; “We were seeking to determine whether the Government’s policies on homeopathy are evidence based on current evidence. They are not.”

Homeopathy doesn’t work. It can’t work. If it did, physics, biochemistry and pharmacology as pharmacists know it would be false. Yet this elaborate placebo system persists, supported in part by the pharmacy profession, which seems comfortable selling products with no active ingredients and no evidence of efficacy.

I have blogged previously about the British inquiry into homeopathy, the public relations disaster for Boots the Chemist (selling their own store brand of homeopathy), and the effectiveness of the “10-23″ protesters, who staged a mass homeopathic overdose, where, not surprisingly, nothing untoward happened to anyone.

The final report from the British inquiry has been released. It scrutinized government policies on homeopathy, and gives direction to the National Health Service.  But the recommendations apply to any country (like Canada) that legitimizes homeopathy.

Here is the Press Release which summarizes the 273 page report :

In a report published today, the Science and Technology Committee concludes that the NHS should cease funding homeopathy. It also concludes that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) should not allow homeopathic product labels to make medical claims without evidence of efficacy. As they are not medicines, homeopathic products should no longer be licensed by the MHRA.

The Committee carried out an evidence check to test if the Government’s policies on homeopathy were based on sound evidence. The Committee found a mismatch between the evidence and policy. While the Government acknowledges there is no evidence that homeopathy works beyond the placebo effect (where a patient gets better because of their belief in the treatment), it does not intend to change or review its policies on NHS funding of homeopathy.

The Committee concurred with the Government that the evidence base shows that homeopathy is not efficacious (that is, it does not work beyond the placebo effect) and that explanations for why homeopathy would work are scientifically implausible.


Help bring skeptical question to the attention UK conservative party leader

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on January 6, 2010

I received an e-mail from Tom, a reader from England, with a request for help. The conservative party in the UK is accepting questions over the web about the future of the NHS, and Tom has put in a question about homeopathy which is of a skeptical nature. The questions will be answered by the party leader on 01/08/10.  Here is the question we hope to have talked about publicly:

“Given the lack of scientific evidence for the efficacy of homeopathic products, does the Conservative Party have a view on the continued funding of such products by the NHS, or on current labeling policy regarding such products? If so, what is it?”

The way this works is that the question must be voted up high enough, via clicking the check mark, to be one of the ones picked up for answer.  In order to do that you need a Google account. You login with that account and click the check mark. That’s all. Since I have two Google accounts I voted for it twice. And the good news is that someone else has posted a question along the same lines, also pointing out the lack of efficacy. I voted for both. I encourage everyone to take the 30 seconds it takes to do the same. Here are the instructions:

Go to the following website:

There is a search box at the middle of the page , on top of the video. To the right of the search box you’ll see a “Sign In” link. Click that and sign in with your Google credentials. After signing in enter “homeopathic” on the search box and hit search. The two questions will come up. Click the check mark on both and you’re done. You’ve thus helped further the skeptical cause. Thank you.

PS: The even is in two days, on  January 8th, so I need to ask you to vote and link to this entry on your blog, Twitter or Facebook, as much as you possibly can.