Friday 18 February 2011

Coalition drops the homeopathetic pill

Today, from HM Government, I received this email:
You signed a petition asking the Prime Minister to implement the recommendations of the House Commons Science and Technology committee evidence check on Homeopathy.

Her Majesty's Government has responded to that petition and you can view it here:

Her Majesty's Government

Petition information -

If you would like to opt out of receiving further mail on this or any other petitions you signed, please email
It asks if I'd like to opt out of further emails.... Might as well, given the effectiveness of signing this particular petition. Here's HM Government's response to the petition in question:
The new Government considered the findings and recommendations of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee and has published a full response. 

The Department of Health will not be withdrawing funding for homeopathy on the NHS, nor will the licensing of homeopathic products be stopped.  Decisions on the provision and funding of any treatment will remain the responsibility of the NHS locally.

A patient who wants homeopathic treatment on the NHS should speak to his or her GP.  If the GP is satisfied this would be the most appropriate and effective treatment then, subject to any local commissioning policies, he or she can refer them to a practitioner or one of the NHS homeopathic hospitals. 

In deciding whether homeopathy is appropriate for a patient, the treating clinician would be expected to take into account safety, clinical and cost-effectiveness as well as the availability of suitably qualified and regulated practitioners.  The Department of Health would not intervene in such decisions.

The Department’s response to the Science and Technology Committee report explains the reasons behind its decisions in more detail.  The response can be found on clicking on the following link:

So there you have it. In response to the recommendations of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee Evidence Check on Homeopathy, the Government is going to do ... precisely nothing.

Incidentally, that last link goes to something entitled: "Government response to the House of Lords Select Committee on Science & Technology report: Resistance to antibiotics and other antimicrobial agents", which as far as I can tell has nothing whatever to do with homeopathy.

Homeopathetic, that's what I call it.