Friday, February 26, 2010

House of Commons report on Homeopathy


No more funding for homeopathy on the NHS?

Evidence Check inquiries
1. Since the Science and Technology Committee was reformed in October 2009, we have
been running a novel programme of work that we have called “Evidence Check”. The
purpose of Evidence Check is to examine how the Government uses evidence to formulate
and review its policies. We have focussed on narrow policy areas and asked the
Government to answer two questions: (1) what is the policy? and (2) on what evidence is
the policy based? In December 2009 we published our first Evidence Check on Early
Literacy Interventions.1
2. This is the second Evidence Check report. It examines the Government’s policies on the
provision of homeopathy through the National Health Service (NHS) and the licensing of
homeopathic products by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency
(MHRA). We selected this topic following the Government’s responses in September 2009
to questions we asked about the evidence base underpinning several different policies. The
Government’s response on homeopathy indicated that scientific evidence was not used to
formulate the licensing regime operated by the MHRA.2 We were surprised by this
response and decided to broaden the inquiry to include consideration of the evidence base
underpinning the Government’s policy regarding the funding of homeopathy on the NHS.

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