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"End Homeopathy on NHS," Say British MPs
22 February 2010 1:33 pm
In a report released today, the United Kingdom's House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has decided that homeopathy is nothing more than a placebo and should not be provided by the National Health Service, as it has been since its inception in 1948. The panel also recommended that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency—the U.K. drug safety watchdog—should stop licensing over-the-counter homeopathic medications that have not demonstrated their effectiveness in randomized controlled trials (i.e., all of them).
These verdicts aren't a complete shock since the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee comprises Members of Parliament who have chosen to sit on a committee established to monitor the scientific evidence base for government policy. The panel even went as far as to dismiss calls for further research, concluding that "there has been enough testing of homeopathy and plenty of evidence showing that it is not efficacious."
Furthermore, the report accuses the British Homeopathic Association (BHA), which had submitted evidence to the panel, of cherry-picking, and even, in one case actively misrepresenting, research into the treatment (a famous study that concluded its findings were "compatible with the notion that the clinical effects of homeopathy are placebo effects" was cited by the BHA as evidence of the treatment's efficacy.) The MPs conclude that "advocates of homeopathy … choose to rely on, and promulgate, selective approaches to the treatment of the evidence base."