Homeopathy on NHS ‘risks lives’

Is homeopathy really endangering lives?

The government’s most senior scientist has warned that homeopathic remedies are putting lives at risk.

Sir David King has claimed alternative medicine has no medical worth at all and that those who use it to cure serious health concerns could be endangering their lives.

King also criticised the Department of Health for supporting the use of the practice, saying there was no proof that it worked. ‘There is not one jot of evidence supporting the notion that homeopathic medicines are of any assistance whatsoever,’ King told MPs. He added: ‘Therefore, I would say they are a risk to the population because people may take them expecting they are dealing with a serious problem.’

The chief scientific adviser’s comments have refuelled the debate about why the NHS still allowed Primary Care Trusts to fund homeopathy. One Liberal Democrat MP pointed out it was hard to justify funding when the NHS cannot even afford medicines that are known to be effective.

Trusts in Brent, Harrow, and Kensington and Chelsea have all withdrawn funding in the last few years.

Jayne Thomas, the vice-chairman of the Society of Homeopaths, said: ‘There is a lot of proof out there that homeopathic medicines do work.’ But added: ‘If a patient was seriously ill, any genuine homeopathic practitioner would encourage them to visit a GP.’

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