Homoeopathy Under Attack The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee have criticised the use of public

money on the use of “highly diluted remedies” used in homoeopathy suggesting there is no evidence beyond placebo (BBC website 23rd February 2010). Most senior physicians using and research scientists studying homoeopathy would strongly disagree that there is no evidence of efficacy. Many studies support its use. Although quite how homoeopathy works is still under review that implies a lack in our knowledge that may be filled as science continues to look. This is not a debate about efficacy so much as value for money since about £4 million a year is provided by the NHS to fund homoeopathy through the homoeopathic hospitals in London, Bristol, Liverpool and Glasgow (the one in Tunbridge Wells was recently closed). The Department of Health website (http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Healthcare/PatientChoice/index.htm) talks about patient choice. In
summary the government policy states “policy and guidance on improving patient choice, including how, when and where patients receive treatment and giving the public a bigger hand in shaping local care systems”. This was stated on 3rd July 2008. The Committee has voiced concern about surveys showing satisfaction rates with homoeopathy of above 70% due to concern about the “balance of witnesses”. I am sure most surveys could be dismissed on some grounds to fit a particular agenda. The Committee suggests this is all about ‘faith’ and that should not be encouraged nor paid for. If we take that line let us remove the pastors and chaplains from hospitals as well please. We spend billions on drugs that have limited efficacy even the BMJ has doubts about modern medicine effects.      13 percent are beneficial to the patient 23 percent are likely to be beneficial 8 percent is a trade-off between benefits and harm 6 percent are unlikely to be beneficial 4 percent are likely to be ineffective or harmful 46 percent have unknown effectiveness

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