Homeopathy faces NHS ban to save PS4m; No proof that it works, says minister.
Byline: TREATMENT Used for ear infections
BY ANDREW GREGORY Health Editor THE controversial alternative medicine homeopathy may be banned by the NHS as part of cost savings.
Life Sciences Minister George Freeman said taxpayers' cash should only be spent on effective medicines.
Homeopathy is based on the idea that the body can heal itself with highly diluted substances.
But experts say there is no evidence that it works.
The NHS spends around PS4million a year on homeopathy.
Mr Freeman said: "With rising health demands, we have a duty to spend NHS funds on the most effective treatments.
"We are considering whether or not homeopathic products should continue to be available through NHS prescriptions."
There are several NHS homeopathic hospitals and some GP practices also offer homeopathic treatment for asthma, ear infections, hay fever, allergies, arthritis and high blood pressure, depression and anxiety.
But Simon Singh, a journalist who wrote a book dismissing homeopathy, told Radio 4's Today programme: "When you look at all the data ... homeopathy does not work, I'm afraid."
But Dr Peter Fisher, of the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine said: "A number of studies show you get better outcomes with homeopathy.