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BBC 21/07/17 NHS plans to scrap homeopathy treatments   

NHS England has announced plans to stop doctors prescribing homeopathy, herbal and other "low value" treatments. It hopes to save almost £200m a year by ending what the head of the service called a "misuse of scarce" NHS funds.

BBC 06/10/16 Why does the NHS spend money on homeopathy?

The NHS says there's "no good-quality evidence" that homeopathy is effective as a treatment for any health condition, yet it funds it. Why and to what extent?

BBC 05/10/16 Wirral health chiefs scrap homeopathy funding   

Health bosses at an NHS trust thought to be one of only three still providing homeopathy in England are to stop funding the treatment. Wirral Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said 95% of people it consulted wanted to end the £16,500 it spent a year on homeopathy.

BBC 13/11/15 Homeopathy 'could be blacklisted'     

Ministers are considering whether homeopathy should be put on a blacklist of treatments GPs in England are banned from prescribing, the BBC has learned. The controversial practice is based on the principle that "like cures like", but critics say patients are being given useless sugar pills.

BBC 18/2/2011 Third of NHS trusts fund homeopathy

Homeopathic remedies often contain few or no active ingredients - A third of NHS trusts still fund homeopathy despite repeated calls for them to stop, an investigation has found.

BBC 11/1/2011 Cases dropped against malaria homeopaths   

Officials have dropped charges against pharmacies alleged to have advised people to take homeopathic remedies to protect them against malaria instead of anti-malarial drugs. The General Pharmaceutical Council's decision has been described as "shabby and irresponsible" by some who helped bring the case against the pharmacies.

BBC Newsnight article 5/1/2011 Is bad homeopathic advice putting travellers at risk?  

Prince Charles's favourite alternative pharmacy has been attacked by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society for suggesting that homeopathic remedies can be used to prevent serious diseases such as typhoid, polio and malaria. The Society told Newsnight they are shocked that anyone would suggest using those products instead of vaccinations and drugs which have been proven to work.

BBC 13/9/2010 Doctors condemn homeopathic vaccinations - Samantha Poling

Doctors have condemned the practice of offering homeopathic vaccinations instead of conventional ones, warning it could leave patients vulnerable to potentially fatal diseases. A BBC Scotland investigation has found alternative practitioners who admit to giving patients a homeopathic medicine designed to replace the MMR vaccine. One also claimed she could protect against other diseases including Polio, Tetanus and Diptheria.

BBC 13/9/2010 Doctors warn over homeopathic 'vaccines' - Samantha Poling

Many homeopaths believe that remedies can help lessen the side effects of conventional vaccination Homeopaths are offering "alternative vaccinations" which doctors say could leave patients vulnerable to potentially fatal diseases, a BBC investigation has found. Three practitioners admitted giving patients a homeopathic medicine designed to replace the MMR vaccine...

BBC 22/2/2010 Why Boots sells homeopathic remedies (video clip)  

 Paul Bennett, professional standards director and superintendent pharmacist at Boots, is questioned by the House of Commons science and technology committee about whether homeopathic remedies work. This clip was taken from the start of a one-off evidence session on homeopathy.

BBC 22/2/2010 NHS money 'wasted' on homeopathy

The NHS should stop funding homeopathy, MPs say. The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee said using public money on the highly-diluted remedies could not be justified. The cross-party group said there was no evidence beyond a placebo effect, when a patient gets better because of their belief that the treatment works...

BBC 30/1/2010 Sceptics stage homeopathy 'overdose'  

Homeopathy sceptics have staged a mass "overdose" of homeopathic remedies, in a bid to prove they have no effect. Protesters ate whole bottles of tablets at branches of Boots in places such as Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow, London, Leicester, Edinburgh and Birmingham. They have asked the pharmacy chain to stop selling the remedies, which they call "scientifically absurd".

BBC 3/10/2008 'Illusions driving market havoc'  

The mind naturally creates illusions and superstitions at times of stress - and this could be adding to the global financial crisis, say scientists. US researchers say feeling "out of control" makes us more likely to misinterpret information as we search for signs of order...

BBC 20/8/2009 Homeopathy not a cure, says WHO  

People with conditions such as HIV, TB and malaria should not rely on homeopathic treatments, the World Health Organization has warned. It was responding to calls from young researchers who fear the promotion of homeopathy in the developing world could put people's lives at risk...

BBC 22/6/2009 Opera 'is music for the heart'  

Listening to the right kind of music can slow the heart and lower blood pressure, a study has revealed.

BBC 24/6/2008 Homeopathy prescriptions falling  

GP prescriptions for homeopathy have nearly halved in two years, figures show. The number of prescriptions dropped from 83,000 in 2005 to 49,300 last year, GP magazine Pulse reported.  It comes as the overall number of prescriptions in England is on the rise...

BBC 25/6/2008 Could water really have a memory? - Simon Singh  

The news that the number of prescriptions for homeopathic medicines written by GPs in England has nearly halved in just two years coincides with the 20th anniversary of a seminal scientific paper on the subject. Twenty years ago, in the summer of 1988, the science world was rocked by one of the most controversial research papers ever published in the highly-respected journal Nature...

BBC 6/5/2008 Firm 'misled' over malaria drug  

Cosmetics chain Neal's Yard has dropped the sale of a homeopathic drug after watchdogs said customers were being misled that it could treat malaria.

BBC 12/2/2008 Warning about animal 'therapies'  

Pet owners should seek the advice of a vet before paying for alternative therapy, according to the British Veterinary Association (BVA).

BBC 31/1/2008 Baby allergy fears 'over the top'   

Mothers who fear their babies suffer from food allergies or intolerances are largely wrong, research has found...

BBC 30/1/2008 NHS trusts 'reject homoeopathy'

NHS primary care trusts are slashing funding for homoeopathic treatment amid debate about its efficacy and the drive to cuts costs, a study has suggested.  More than a quarter have stopped or cut funding for such services, research by the GP magazine Pulse has found...

BBC 1/12/2007 Concern over HIV homeopathy role   

Doctors and health charities have expressed concern about a conference which will examine the role of homeopathy in treating HIV.  The event includes discussion of what have been described as "healing remedies" for HIV and Aids...

BBC 27/9/2007 NHS trust stops homeopathy funds  

Health bosses have recommended that NHS funding for a homeopathic hospital in Kent should be stopped. West Kent Primary Care Trust has been conducting a review of all its funding...

BBC 31/8/2006 Fears over homeopathy regulation  

Patients will be put at risk by a new regulatory system being brought in for homeopathic medicine, critics say. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is introducing rules to allow remedies to specify the ailments for which they can be used...

BBC 19/6/2006,  Vets protest over homeopathy plan

A group of vets has said they are concerned by European Commission proposals to legitimise the use of homeopathic remedies for animals.  In an open letter to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the group says there is no clinical evidence that homeopathy works...

BBC 19/6/2006 Head-to-head: Homeopathic veterinary treatments

Vets and academics have expressed concern to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons over the use of homeopathic treatments for animals.  They are unhappy that homeopathic treatments do not undergo the same rigorous checks as scientific medicines...

BBC 23/5/2006 Doctors attack 'bogus' therapies

Some of Britain's leading doctors have urged NHS trusts to stop using complementary therapies and to pay only for medicine "based on solid evidence". The group raised concerns that the NHS is funding "unproven or disproved treatments", like homoeopathy...

BBC 23/5/2006 Head-to-head: Complementary medicine  

Some of Britain's leading doctors have urged NHS trusts to stop using complementary therapies. They argue there is little firm evidence that techniques such as homoeopathy work. And they say it is wrong that complementary methods are not subject to the same vigorous tests as orthodox medicines.

BBC 26/8/2005 Homoeopathy's benefit questioned

A leading medical journal has made a damning attack on homoeopathy, saying it is no better than dummy drugs. The Lancet says the time for more studies is over and doctors should be bold and honest with patients about homoeopathy's "lack of benefit"...

BBC 24/8/2005 Row over Charles' medicines study  

A report commissioned by the Prince of Wales into the cost of complementary medicines has sparked controversy. Prince Charles, an enthusiast for alternative medicine, asked an independent economist to work out how much such therapies could save the NHS...

BBC 21/11/2005 New study is boost to homoeopathy  

A study at Bristol Homoeopathic Hospital shows over 70% of patients with chronic diseases reported positive health changes after treatment. More than 6,500 patients took part in the six-year study with problems such as eczema to menopause and arthritis...

BBC 5/10/2005 Charles study backs NHS therapies   

Complementary therapies should be given a greater role in the NHS, a report commissioned by the Prince of Wales has said...

BBC 24/8/2005 Row over Charles' medicines study   

A report commissioned by the Prince of Wales into the cost of complementary medicines has sparked controversy. Prince Charles, an enthusiast for alternative medicine, asked an independent economist to work out how much such therapies could save the NHS...

BBC 19/6/2005 Radio 4 ‘Case notes’ programme, episode on homeopathy

Dr Mark Porter gives listeners the low-down on what the medical profession does and doesn't know. Each week an expert in the studio tackles a particular topic and there are reports from around the UK on the health of the nation - and the NHS...

BBC 25/4/2005 Weirdest cures on show at debate   

Weird and wonderful inventions will be on show during a debate on medical "quackery" at London's Science Museum...

BBC 3/2/2005 Cancer alternative therapy trend  

A third of European cancer patients are using complementary and alternative therapies, a survey of 1,000 suggests...

BBC 25/1/2005 Public 'back alternative therapy'

A majority of people believe complementary medicine is as valid as conventional treatment, a survey says...

BBC 8/11/2004 Prince opens alternative clinic

The Prince of Wales has officially opened a women's clinic offering both conventional and alternative therapies in the model village he helped design. Prince Charles, a long-standing supporter of complementary medicine, opened the Poundbury Clinic, on Middlemarsh Street, Poundbury, Dorset...

BBC 4/11/2004 Public want alternative therapy   

Complementary therapies can be dangerous. Patients want to discuss complementary medicine with GPs but many do not as they are embarrassed, research shows...

BBC 2/8/2004 NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO "Some websites are encouraging cancer patients to ignore traditional treatments" Vicki Young

1:38 min video news item featuring Peter Fisher and Edzard Ernst (RAM file)

BBC 2/3/2004 New rules for alternative medics   

Acupuncturists and herbalists will have to comply with tough new rules if they want to continue to treat patients, under government proposals...

BBC 26/11/2003 Horizon - the test

A BBC science programme puts homeopathy to the test. Includes links to the BBC transcript.

BBC 22/5/2003 Prince's alternative medicine call   

Everyone should have access to complementary medicine, according to the Prince of Wales...

BBC 1/4/2003 Homeopathy 'no better than placebos'   

Homeopathic remedies are no better than a placebo at improving the quality of life of asthmatic children, a new study has said...

BBC 18/3/2003 Homeopathy, a sceptical view (h2g2)

One of the biggest health fads to hit the consumer market in the 20th Century is homeopathy. Dubbed a 'home remedy', homeopathy is considered a branch of holistic medicine, and is all about curing an illness or a disorder by treating the whole person rather than merely concentrating on a set of symptoms...

BBC 8/2/2003 Alternative medicine

Research conducted by the BBC has shown that alternative medicines are becoming increasingly popular. Yet their effectiveness is yet to be proven to the majority of medical practitioners in the UK and there are concerns over safety as many of the treatments remain untested...

BBC 16/1/2003 Three-month ban for homeopathy GP

A family doctor let her faith in alternative medicine cloud her medical judgment, the General Medical Council (GMC) has found. Dr Michelle Langdon risked the health of an 11-month-old girl and failed to get proper consent before using homeopathic medicine, the GMC's professional conduct committee decided on Thursday...

BBC 26/11/2002 Does homeopathy work?

The American illusionist James Randi offered a million dollars to anyone able to prove that homeopathic remedies can really cure people. The producer of the BBC's Horizon programme explains why he took up the challenge...

BBC 1/3/2002 Homeopathy 'no benefit' to asthmatics  

Homeopathy is not an effective treatment for asthma, a study suggests. The research team identified 242 asthmatic people allergic to house dust mite and gave some a homeopathic treatment and others a placebo. However, they found no improvement in lung function or quality of life between those treated with placebo and those who received homeopathic therapy...

BBC 11/10/2001 h2g2 - American Medical Quackery from the 1700s to Today   

The origin of the word 'quack' comes from the Dutch quacksalver, literally meaning 'chatter salve' or someone who prattles or boasts about the efficacy of their remedies. The practice of quackery has existed for as long as mankind has been feeling ill. In the 1700s, microscopes were a relatively new invention, and the most popular methods of treating a patient were bloodletting, blistering, and purging...

BBC 20/6/2000 GPs encouraged to go alternative   

Every GP practice in the country is to receive comprehensive information on complementary medicine to encourage doctors to embrace unorthodox forms of healing...

BBC 5/4/2000 Homeopaths warn of further tragedies

A homeopathic expert has warned further tragedies such as the death of baby Cameron Ayres could happen unless traditional and alternative medicine develop closer links. An inquest in London on Tuesday recorded a verdict of death by natural causes on six-month-old Cameron, who died of a treatable disease after his parents refused to allow him to be given conventional medicine...

Guardian 2/3/15 What do doctors say to 'alternative therapists' when a patient dies? Nothing. We never talk - Ranjana Srivastava

Jess Ainscough’s tragic death is all too familiar for oncologists. We’ve all lost patients to the ‘secret powers’ of alternative therapy… I have little expectation that someone who would sell false hope to a vulnerable patient would talk me through their reasons why… The alternative health industry, worth many billions of dollars... will always attract unguarded patients who will cling to the faintest promise of recovery without associated harm. Whenever money changes hands and the premise sounds too good to be true, the motto remains: Caveat Emptor.

An impassioned crie de coeur from a world-weary oncologist fed up with false promises from alternative practitioners happy to exploit the vulnerable and the dying and strip them and their families of every material posession in the process, including taking their houses off them.

Anyone naïve enough to believe alternative therapy ‘does no harm’ would be well advised to read this article most carefully.

Independent 13/10/2013 Labour tells new health spokeswoman to drop her support for homeopathy - Sidonie Chaffer-Melly

Labour has forced its new public health spokeswoman, Luciana Berger, to renounce her views on homeopathy. Ms Berger replaced Diane Abbott as shadow Health minister in Ed Miliband's reshuffle last week. She has previously signed parliamentary motions submitted for debate that supported the funding of homeopathic remedies on the NHS after the British Medical Association had opposed it...

Independent 9/2/2010 How can the state justify supporting homeopathy? - Dominic Lawson

It's terrifying what chemists recommend when asked for 'a natural remedy'. ... the Science and Technology committee of the House of Commons met to conclude its inquiry into Alternative Medicine. Its members were courteous, polite even to a fault, a far cry from the aggressive made-for-TV grandstanding of the equivalent Congressional bodies in the US; but by the end of a few brief sessions, they had reduced to intellectual rubble the multi-million pound pseudo-medical lobby known as homeopathy – and left equally ragged the regulators and ministers who connive in its skilful mystifications of the public...

Independent 22/2/10 Homeopathy is a waste of NHS money - Philip Hensher

We don't object to people spending their healthcare money on anything they choose. When I was very little – and you too, I dare say – sometimes I would fall over when running in the garden, in the local woods, or in the street. Usually, you run to your mother, don't you? And if you'd grazed yourself, or weren't actually streaming with blood from an open wound, she would say: "Oh dear – I tell you what, I'll kiss it better." And the odd thing is that a kiss from your mother, when you're three or four, does seem to make it better.

Independent 24/6/2008 So now we will have degrees in quackery - Dominic Lawson

What, really, is the difference between acupuncture and psychic surgery?

Guardian 29/6/2010 Ban homeopathy from NHS, say doctors - Sarah Boseley

Members of the British Medical Association call for homeopathic remedies to be taken off pharmacy shelves designated for medicines. Members of the British Medical Association said homeopathic remedies should be relegated to shelves "labelled placebos" and that NHS money should not be spent on treatments that are scientifically implausible.

Guardian 22/2/2010 MPs deliver their damning verdict: Homeopathy is useless and unethical - Martin Robbins

Homeopaths are evoking grand conspiracies to explain the Science and Technology Committee's brutal report, but in reality they were undone by their own bizarre pronouncements.

Today the Science and Technology Select Committee delivered its verdict on homeopathy and it was devastating. The committee has called for the complete withdrawal of NHS funding and official licensing of homeopathy.

This should come as no surprise to anyone who witnessed the almost farcical nature of the proceedings, with the elite of homeopathy mocked by their own testimony.

Guardian 5/2/2010 Homeopathic society 'misled' MPs in inquiry - Ian Sample

BHA misrepresented science, say researchers. NHS spent £12m over three years on remedies The British Homeopathic Association has been accused of misrepresenting scientific evidence on alternative medicine in documents it gave to a parliamentary inquiry. The organisation claimed several scientific reviews offered support for homeopathy in material submitted to the cross-party science and technology select committee, which is holding an investigation into the products. Robert Mathie, a researcher at the BHA, said the reviews found evidence for a difference between homeopathic remedies and sugar pills, which contain no active ingredients. But the claim has dismayed some of the scientists who wrote the reviews and angered MPs on the committee who are in the final stages of writing their report.

Guardian 28/7/2010 What, really, is the difference between acupuncture and psychic surgery?

'Choice' fetish spawns mind-meltingly stupid homeopathy policy. The UK government's rejection of a damning Commons report on homeopathy leaves Martin Robbins baffled and depressed.

Reporter Martin Robbins likens the NHS offering a choice to patients between real medicines and homeopathy to offering a choice between condoms and socks when deciding on contraception - brilliant!

Guardian 8/1/2008 Quackery and superstition - available soon on the NHS - Polly Toynbee

A sharp line has to be drawn between fact and fiction when it comes to spending public funds on alternative therapies. Put not your trust in princes, especially not princes who talk to plants. But that's what the government has decided to do. The Department of Health has funded the Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health to set up the Natural Healthcare Council to regulate 12 alternative therapies, such as aromatherapy, reflexology and homeopathy...

Guardian 16/11/2007 A kind of magic? - Ben Goldacre

Time after time, properly conducted scientific studies have proved that homeopathic remedies work no better than simple placebos. So why do so many sensible people swear by them? And why do homeopaths believe they are victims of a smear campaign? Ben Goldacre follows a trail of fudged statistics, bogus surveys and widespread self-deception

Guardian 23/5/2006 Homeopathy is bunkum - Sue Blackmore

If any money is going spare for the NHS, let's spend it on real medicine that actually works. A group of brave doctors has tried, again, to stop our precious NHS resources being spent on quackery. Oh yes, I'll get in trouble for saying "quackery"; I'll be told that alternative therapists are not quacks, that they are all kind, caring, open-minded people who help the sick and fight against the oppression of closed-minded scientists who don't understand the holistic nature of these truly spiritual human beings. But these poor doctors will have it worse. They will get hate mail from people who claim to be more loving and caring than them; they will be called "arrogant" by people who "just know" that homeopathy works...

Guardian 26/8/2005 As a fourth study says it's no better than a placebo, is this the end for homeopathy? - Sarah Boseley

Homeopathy, favoured medical remedy of the royal family for generations and hugely popular in the UK, has an effect but only in the mind, according to a major study published in a leading medical journal today. The conclusions of the Lancet analysis are a body blow for proponents of homeopathy, which has been around for 250 years and has attained cult-like status among its aficionados

New Scientist 12/12/2005 Homoeopathic vets come under fire - Andy Coghlan

A SATIRICAL website poking fun at veterinary homeopathy has become the unlikely symbol of a global backlash by conventional vets against their homeopathic colleagues.

The "British Veterinary Voodoo Society" (BVVS) is a parody, but its creators say they are making a serious point: that the claimed effectiveness of homeopathic veterinary medicine has no more solid scientific evidence behind it than voodoo. They object to a decision by the UK's Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) to publish an official list of homeopathic vets, which they say undermines the credibility of conventional veterinary medicine.

The RCVS disputes this. It points out that the list carries a disclaimer declaring that the college does not recognise the major British homeopathic veterinary qualification. This is awarded by The Faculty of Homeopathy, a separate body that also promotes the development of homeopathy for humans.

Homeopathic vets are not laughing either. They see the site as ...

New York Times 08/04/2008 Potential for Harm in Dietary Supplements - Jane E. Brody

A form of substance abuse rampant in this country is rarely discussed publicly or privately. It involves abusing legally sold dietary supplements - vitamins, minerals, herbals and homeopathic remedies - all of which can be sold over the counter without prior approval for safety and effectiveness...

Times Online 23/5/2007 Full text: letter calling for homeopathy boycott

Read the letter sent by Professor Gustav Born urging NHS managers to cut down on alternative and homeopathic medicine...

Times Higher Education 13/11/2008 NHS homoeopathy funding probe pledge to MPs

The Government's chief scientific adviser has said he sees "no scientific evidence" that homoeopathy works, and has agreed to look into its funding as a treatment on the National Health Service.  John Beddington, who also heads the Government Office for Science (GO-Science), made the commitment to MPs during a hearing of the Commons Universities Select Committee last week.

Times Higher Education 26/6/2008 Homoeopaths label scientists the 'new fundamentalists' - Zoe Corbyn

Clinical research 'inappropriate' to test alternative therapies, practitioners argue. Academics who rubbish the value of homoeopathy are peddling a "new fundamentalism" against the practice and seeking to apply "wholly inappropriate" clinical research methods to evaluate its worth. These were the claims heard by delegates at the inaugural "Scientific Research in Homeopathy" conference held by the Complementary Medical Association (CMA) at the University of Westminster last week. The conference, which was attended by about 100 homoeopathy practitioners, promised to give practitioners the "proof" they needed to counter arguments that their work is both ineffective and dangerous.

Telegraph 24/1/13 Homeopathy is 'rubbish', says chief medical officer - Rosa Silverman

Homeopathic remedies are “rubbish” and do not serve as anything more than placebos, England’s chief medical officer [Sally Davies] has claimed.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation 6/6/13 Parents' fear of vaccinations nearly killed their son - Emma Wynne

Auckland parents Ian and Linda Williams thought they had made an informed choice not to vaccinate their children, but after their son ended up in intensive care with a tetanus infection they realised they had made a terrible mistake...