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Judicial review to save homeopathy in the UK - update

08 May 2018

UK patients have challenged National Health Service England on its decision to restrict the public’s right to access homeopathy within the National Health Service (NHS).

The British Homeopathic Association is challenging the NHS decision to publish guidance that homeopathic medicines should no longer be routinely prescribed by general practitioners.  It was granted a judicial review of this decision.

On the 1-4 May, a hearing was held and both sides had the chance to present their case. The BHA’s legal team presented the arguments as grounds for the judicial review, focusing in particular on what they feel is the misuse of the 2010 UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee report. ‘Evidence Check 2: Homeopathy’. They also made it clear that the consultation was not accessible nor enabled participation, there was the lack of a proper Equalities Impact Assessment, and a predetermination of the consultation.

A strong case was made to Rt Hon Mr Justice Supperstone and the BHA is now awaiting his judgement which most probably will take some time, possibly months, to be issued.

The BHA campaign was further supported by David Tredinnick MP who asked a question about homeopathy on 25 April in Prime Minister’s Question Time in House of Parliament. Prime Minister Theresa May answered that “…it is the responsibility of the local NHS to make decisions on the commissioning and funding of healthcare treatments and to take account of issues with safety, clinical and cost-effectiveness and the availability of suitably qualified and regulated practitioners.”