Thursday, 17 November 2016


Back in 2012, I wrote a blog looking at regulation of homeopathy in the UK. It was partly in response to the confusion of many supporters and opponents had regarding the implications of the consolidating Medicines for Human Use Act 2012. Many were making incorrect assertions. The story of what went on is interesting in itself and serves as an object lesson in how self-defeating lobbying tactics can be.

Although little has changed in the legislation regarding homeopathy, there have been some developments regarding self-regulation and also the attitude of regulators towards homeopathy. These developments have had a considerable impact on how both homeopathic services and remedies are marketed.

It is also the case that there could be changes in the legislative status quo as a result of Brexit.

It would seem appropriate to revisit some of the issues raised in the previous blog.

Some general points first...

Skeptic’s Charter?
Not really. The point of this blog is to discuss mostly regulatory issues in as dispassionate way as possible. Whilst some of the content could well be used by opponents of homeopathy to make complaints to regulators, it could also be used in other ways by supporters of homeopathy. For example, to lobby for change in legislation in light of anomalies of official tolerance in legislation not being enforced yet homeopaths still notionally having to abide by it.

It is acknowledged that homeopathic remedies in themselves are generally safe, barring false description, adulteration or contamination. They represent no more danger than any other tiny bit of sugar or drops of water or ethanol and water.

Safety issues surrounding homeopathy are generally not about the remedies. They revolve around information, consent and certain actions. Competence is also part of the equation.

Efficacy and “It worked for me!”
The position of this blog is that there is no compelling evidence for the efficacy of homeopathic remedies. This is also the consensus position of the scientific and medical communities.

Whilst the personal experience is valid and authentic, in terms of suffering and (some) relief from suffering, aneddotes are not something that public health and consumer protection policy can be built on. Correlation is not causation.

Comments Policy
Whilst comments are encouraged, this blog is not the best place to debate issues such as efficacy. Nor is it the place to debate the shortcomings of pharmaceutical companies.

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