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27 Aug 2017 1 Respondent
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By Vanessa Peutherer
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HOMEOPATHY "BLACKLIST"?

HOMEOPATHY "BLACKLIST"?

An Interesting article appeared in the news today:

Http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-34744858

Should Homeopathy be blacklisted as a treatment which cannot be prescribed by GPs?

NHS England argue there is no benefit or clinical evidence base to support its use and is a waste of valuable finite NHS resources. An example is the use of  the homeopathic 'St John's Wort', a treament derived from a herb base, which dates back to use by the ancient greeks, is commonly used for the treatment of depression and other related disorders. This preparation, while having some contra-indications and side-effects is used by many as a substitute for conventional pharmaceutical preparations such as selective serotonin uptake inhibitors (SSRI's). These conventional medications, while clininically effective for some do however have frequent undesirable side-effects and many discontinue their use because of this or because of perceived ineffectiveness.

However, the concept of evidence based practice, not only includes scientific findings but also includes evidence of what a patient prefers and finds effective.

Patient preference is asserted as crucial in health care and written about and reflected in policy and by NHS England and grounded in law also. Yet this report and proposed consultation move seems incongruent with this assertion, especially as no harm has been established by using homeopathy apart from financial loss.

On the other hand, financial constraint and cost - effectiveness remains a high priority in the NHS, and there is no uncontroversial evidence of the clinical effectiveness of homeopathy. There appears to be a conflict here - which is more important, patient choice or cost-effectiveness?

It is proposed that homeopathy should be blacklisted as ineffective and prevented (by NHS England ) from being prescribed by GPs

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