Despite the onslaught against homeopathy recently, I am pleased to report that the government has recently ignored calls to ban this valuable natural therapy.
Responding to a Science Committee report and to the campaign, Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, said that it was up to local NHS officials to decide whether or not they wished to continue to offer homeopathy and other complementary medicine approaches in their area and not for Westminster to tell them the best way to treat their patients. He said that patient choice and the relationship between clinician and patient were important factors in getting people well.
By doing this, cynically-speaking, he has signalled probably that the Govt wants to duck the issue and not get involved in banning something so popular which would not make them look good, but also that patient choice is important.
Speaking to Natural Products News, Dr Sara Eames, president of the Faculty of Homeopathy was quoted: “As a doctor who practices homeopathy on the NHS, I know homeopathy is an important part of our health service helping tens of thousands of patients annually, a majority of whom have not been helped sufficiently with conventional treatments. I am pleased to see the government, contrary to the recommendations of the Science and Technology’s report, agrees that homeopathy has a place in the NHS and offers choice to both patients and local purchasers of healthcare.”
The main claim against homoepathy is that, apart from the reams and reams of anecdotal evidence and trials on animals where placebo cannot have an effect, some non-believers claim it is unproven. But, given the debacle raging about the anti-depressant trials that have come to light (see my last post) which were based on the supposed gold-standard RCT type tests, that’s a bit rich!