Homeopathic remedies should no longer be prescribed on the NHS because they don't work, says a committee of MPs
Thousands of people swear by their positive effects, but according to some MPs homeopathic remedies are no better than Smarties and should no longer be funded by the NHS.
The Commons Science and Technology Committee said there is no evidence that these treatments actually worked and found their medical claims misleading. The committee said that these pills are little more than a placebo – an inactive medication designed to resemble a drug.
There are currently four NHS hospitals and clinics offering homeopathy, and believers of these remedies include the Queen and Prince of Wales. Estimates of the annual cost range from £157,000 to £4 million in total.
Liberal Democrat MP Phil Willis, chairman of the cross-party committee, said giving placebos to patients through the NHS was like asking doctors to participate in ‘active deception’.
His fear was that other more serious illnesses could be missed while patients were taking homeopathy remedies.
However, Dr Michael Dixon, medical director of the Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health, was less dismissive. ‘If homeopathy is getting results for those patients, then of course we should continue to use it.’
A spokesman for the Department of Health said: ‘The report and any recommendations will be given full consideration over the coming weeks.’