UK to stop funding homeopathy medicines

Though it is a well-known fact that homeopathy is useless and equal to placebo, a large amount of scarce public resources are wasted on it by many governments all over the world. Now one such wastage will be stopped soon. The National Health Service in United Kingdom is proposing a ban on providing homeopathy medicines.

 The NHS has announced a ban on homeopathy and herbal medicine as they say it is “misuse of scarce funds”.

Officials today ruled that the treatments are among dozens of medicines which should not be funded by the health service.

In the last five years, the NHS has spent almost £600,000 on homeopathic treatment, despite long running debate about whether alternative remedies work.

Today NHS England ruled that “at best homeopathy is a placebo and a misuse of scarce NHS funds which could be better devoted to treatments that work.”

Prof Edzard Ernst, Emeritus Professor, University of Exeter, a leading critic of alternative medicine, said the decision to stop funding homeopathy was “long overdue”.

“Since it was first invented ~200 years ago, homeopathy has been criticised for flying in the face of science and common sense.

“We have now known for decades that the most reliable studies fail to show that highly diluted homeopathic remedies are more than placebos.

“The NHS has a legal, moral and ethical duty to spend our scarce funds wisely; I cannot think of a less prudent way to spend them than on homeopathy,” he said.

In contrast sadly India is embracing pseudo science more and more.


  1. Callinectes says

    This was motivated less by rational thought and more by the desperate need to survive in the face of the Conservatives’ ongoing plans to defund the NHS and sell it off piecemeal to private interests.

  2. agender says

    I do fear you are right, Callinectes.
    And that the outcome does not stop at a good compromise (like Germany, where you can get your appointment and advice on the health insurance, if you choose a MD with additional “homoepathy specialization” and only have to pay your h-droplets or little pills; only if you go to a “Heilpraktiker” (healer with a short exam on infectious diseases s/he is not allowed to treat)you have to pay everything.
    But my interest in homoeopathy and other “alternative” treatments is the other way round, and therefore I would appreciate input from you, Arun:
    How to find out which amount of selfhealing abilities a certain person has in a certain situation, and where it is necessary to risk adverse reactions?

    One aspect may be described by the antibiotics problem, many people have been given those for a viral infection where they do not work and may well suppress the body´ s immune answer.
    But who would use antivirals on the common cold? Do MDs want to simply say: “You have to suffer a week”?
    (O.K., sofar herbals like peppermint tea are still legal)
    My personal experience is with painkillers: I do need about half my basic daily dose when in a situation I can do my daily tai chi exercises without being catcalled and/or grabbed, and often tramal plus acetaminophen does not suffice when I am in a situation where people can assault me or threaten me because I do not have and do not want to have a family – and especially now, as Germany has passed a law last year that will put a stop toward any chance to die in a selfdetermined way and forces everybody to endure a religious nursing home to the extreme (§217 has been called anti-commercializing, despite the fact that this slow way of dying is as expensive as it is painful and humiliating).

    I always thought the ritual of homoepathy concluded by some little pills would do the trick, especially since this experiment by placebo specialists that the placebo effect does work on people who know the setting!!!!
    My last combined MD failed me at exactly this point – do all homoeopaths get a faithhealer/heal all syndrome igiven some time, or does my experience only prove that religious people will pressure their religion on somebody vulnerable sooner or later (Most homoeopaths in Europe are Christian, and could be Hindu in Kerala)?

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