Amazing news, or almost. Early reports from the Commons science and technology committee indicate that the taxpayer will no longer have to foot the bill for homeopathic treatments on the NHS. This has always been the biggest issue for me – private sales are annoying and misleading, but spending the cash-strapped NHS’s budget on sugar pills to the tune of Â£4million a year is plain old wrong. The MPs report isn’t in yet, but it is expected to recommend that the NHS no longer fund homeopathy. Hopefully that means the closure of the four publicly-funded homeopathic hospitals in England which treat a mere 54,000 patients.
Make no mistake – this is huge news. If the report’s findings are accepted, this will deal a massive blow to the homeopathic industry in the UK, as a very large part of its credibility is gained from its NHS support. I would not be surprised to see major chemists like Boots, the target of the recent 10:23 protests, follow suit and withdraw homeopathy from sale – this would certainly be likely if the marketing rules are changed. Boots aren’t allowed to sell something labelled ‘chocolate’ if it doesn’t contain any chocolate. Â Likewise they shouldn’t be allowed to sell something labelled arnica if there isn’t any arnica in it.
Big thanks to Supersense for tweeting the article linked above in time for me to see it and yell “ding dong the witches are nearly dead!”.