Homeopathy is so much cheaper

The NHS has finally decided to stop prescribing homeopathic “remedies.”

Announcing the plans, Simon Stevens, NHS England’s chief executive, said homeopathy is “at best a placebo and a misuse of scarce NHS funds”.

Besides homeopathy, the plans highlight 17 other items that will no longer be available on prescription for reasons ranging from low clinical effectiveness to low cost-effectiveness. These include herbal medicines, Omega-3 fatty acid compounds, rubs and ointments used to relieve muscle pain known as rubefacients…

And offerings to Asklepios.

“Homeopathy is based on implausible assumptions and the most reliable evidence fails to show that it works beyond a placebo effect. It can cause severe harm when used as an alternative to effective treatments,” said Edzard Ernst, emeritus professor of complementary medicine at the University of Exeter. “Therefore, it is high time that the NHS stops funding it and instead employs our scarce resources on treatments that are backed by sound science.”

The view was echoed by Michael Marshall, project director of the Good Thinking Society, an organisation that previously threatened the Department of Health with a judicial review if it failed to put complementary and alternative therapies on the blacklist for prescriptions.

“This is very welcome news,” said Marshall. “Every credible medical body certainly knows that homeopathic remedies are just not effective for any conditions at all and it is great to see this strong statement from NHS England officially acknowledging the fact.”

The response from the other side is classic.

 Cristal Sumner, chief executive of the British Homeopathic Association said the NHS plans were “bad for its already overstretched budget and for patients” and criticised the report used to draw up the new guidelines.

“This recommendation is not cost effective as patients will be prescribed more expensive conventional drugs in place of homeopathy, which defeats the object of the exercise,” she said.

Oh certainly, because cheaper nothing is much more cost effective than more expensive actual medicine that actually works.

3 Responses to “Homeopathy is so much cheaper”