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Jul 28 2017

Have your say on NHS Homeopathy Prescriptions – here’s how

There is a public consultation currently taking place on whether the NHS should stop the availability on prescription. You can submit your thoughts via a simple online form, and you have until October 21st to do so.

We can be sure that homeopaths and homeopathy trade groups will be planning to take part in the consultation, so it is crucial that rationalists, scientists, health professionals, patients, members of the public, professional bodies, organisations and more add their voices. Taking part is simple, and it can take as little as two minutes to do.

 

For patients and the public

You can make a submission to the consultation by visiting the online consultation document at: https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/consultation/items-routinely-prescribed/consultation/

You will also be asked for your name and email address, but you can choose to remain anonymous. After preliminary pages about discrimination and the naming of prescription items, you will find the list of treatments up for review: select ‘Yes’ in response to “Do you want to provide views on the proposals for CCG commissioning guidance?”, and select homeopathy from the list. You have the opportunity later to add comments on other treatments if you wish.

You’re now asked if you agree that there should be no new homeopathy prescriptions, and if you agree that those currently receiving homeopathy should be transferred to a different treatment and the prescription ended. You also have the option to provide a further comment on your answer, or on the availability of homeopathy on prescription in general.

Remember, some of your comments may be anonymised and published as part of the consultation outcome, so please make sure any comments are considered and relevant.

If you’d like to leave comments on another treatment, you can select it from the list below; otherwise, select “I would not like to provide further feedback on any more of these medicines”. The rest of the questions are self-explanatory and optional.

That’s all there is to it – if you just want to show your support and have no specific comments to make, it takes under two minutes to have your say and to support evidence-based medicine.

Once you’ve completed the form, you can take a moment to tweet about it, and let others know that they can offer their views too. You could share a message like:

I’ve shared my thoughts on NHS homeopathy funding & you can too! Take 2 minutes, make a difference: http://wp.me/p69nA6-3jL @GoodThinkingSoc

 

For organisations, professionals and interested parties

If you’re an organisation, charity, medical expert or skeptical group, you are free to use the above form, but you may want to consider submitting something more formally to the consultation. Written submissions can be sent to england.medicines@nhs.net, before October 21st.

The Good Thinking Society will be putting together a written submission of our own, which we intend to publish at the start of October.

 

Other treatments on the list

Depending on your level of expertise or interest, you may want to offer your thoughts on some of the other products the consultation proposes to prevent prescriptions: for example, also up for review are herbal medicines that are listed under the Traditional Herbal Registration license. As the consultation states:

In the UK, the MHRA allows herbal products to be marketed for minor health conditions that don’t require medical supervision, upon receipt of a traditional herbal registration.

Under a Traditional Herbal Registration there is no requirement to prove scientifically that a product works, the registration is based on longstanding use of the product as a traditional medicine. Due to the lack of evidence provided in registering these products the group felt that they were suitable for inclusion in the proposed guidance.

If you believe that treatments should be able to demonstrate evidence of effectiveness, even those that have been used traditionally in the past, you may want to include that in your consultation response.