The British Homeopathic Association (BHA) has secured a judicial review of NHS England’s decision to stop GPs prescribing homeopathy on the health service.
Richard Clayton QC, who represented the BHA during a judicial review hearing at the High Court, claimed an NHS England consultation did not provide a balanced argument and was too complicated for “ordinary” people to understand despite there being “ample” evidence that homeopathy worked, according to the BBC.
Last year NHS England decided to scrap what it regarded as 18 “low value” treatments on prescription following the consultation, including herbal remedies, homeopathy and dietary supplements to generate £141 million in annual savings.
The NHS Choices website states: “There’s been extensive investigation of the effectiveness of homeopathy. There’s no good-quality evidence that homeopathy is effective as a treatment for any health condition.”
Seven products were also referred to the Department of Health and Social Care for blacklisting, including homeopathy, herbal treatments, omega-3 fatty acid compounds (fish oil), co-proxamol, rubefacients (excluding topical NSAIDS), lutein and antioxidants and glucosamine and chondroitin.
The measures were based on the belief that stopping those items on prescription will generate significant efficiency savings and free up millions of GP appointments. About £92,000 was spent on prescriptions for homeopathy last year.