Homeopathy No Longer Be Available In French State Health Insurance System

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After the government’s decision, homoeopathy will no longer be available on the French state health insurance system.
Under the current system, anyone who wants to use homoeopathic remedies can swipe their carte Vital Health Card at the pharmacy and the government will reimburse part of the drug’s cost.

But under new rules due to come into force next year and 2021, homoeopathy will no longer be included in the French State Health Insurance Scheme.

The rules were drafted by the government over the summer and published this week in the Journal Official, which records all new laws and decrees in France.

French health minister Agnes Buzyn. Photo: AFP

This means that although homoeopathic remedies will still be available from physicians and pharmacies, anyone who wants to use them will have to pay the full cost themselves.

Although there are some variations within the Carte Vitale State Health Insurance System, currently the government usually refunds 30 per cent of the cost of homoeopathic medicines.

It will come down to 15 per cent from January 1, 2020, and then to zero by January 2021.

The government’s decision follows a report by the French state health body Haute Autorite de Sante (HAS), which concluded that homoeopathic remedies were not proven effective.

The body responsible for the evaluation of the drugs concluded that homoeopathic products “had not demonstrated scientifically adequate efficacy to justify reimbursement”.

Prior to joining the government in 2017, French health minister Agnes Buzin, a prominent haematologist and university professor with no prior experience in politics, has reiterated the importance of following scientific advice from HAS.

According to French press reports, she had clarified that her position on the homoeopathy issue was at stake, stating that the government’s scientific credibility was on the line.

Homoeopathy is very popular in France, all pharmacies sell homoeopathic remedies and doctors often prescribe homoeopathic medicines in addition to traditional remedies.

Nearly a million people signed a petition against the proposed changes and a demonstration was held in Paris in June calling for the government not to rescind the call.

Maxence Raymond, a pharmacist, told French TV channel BFMTV that the price of homoeopathic remedies may increase.

He said: “VAT is changing on this. It will be higher, so the price automatically increases, and because the laboratory and pharmacy are then free to determine its price, the price of the drug doubles or triples.”

About 1,300 people work in the manufacture of homoeopathic medicines in France.

Vincent Mounier, a representative of the trade union, said, “We have a network of 28 establishments, this is going to be a big loss of income and a big loss of a job. We want us to keep this therapy. Boiron homoeopathy firm In force Ouvrière.

Last year, according to the French state health insurance provider, l’Assurance Maladie, homoeopathy represented €126.8 million out of approximately €20 billion for all reimbursed medicines.

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