Many patients and supporters have seen the media reports that the NHS is halting routine prescription of homeopathic medicines. This is not true.
On Friday 21st July a consultation was opened by NHS England. This consultation aims to produce commissioning guidelines to reduce the 1.1 billion prescription items dispensed in primary care in 2016, at a cost of £9.2billion. Rightly, the NHS is concerned to ensure the greatest value for the money it spends in the face of rising costs and finite resources. The guidelines under consultation cover a number of drugs and items on prescription of which homeopathic medicines make up less than a 1% of expenditure.
As the BHA’s Chief Executive responded in the Times:
Patients will be prescribed more expensive conventional drugs in place of homeopathy, which defeats the object of the exercise. The NHS also claims it wants to reduce the amount of prescription drugs patients take, then stops offering complementary therapies which can help achieve this.
The final policy decision on this spend has NOT been agreed and will not be finalised until the end of the consultation period on 21 October 2017. Once guidance is agreed Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) wanting to implement these guidelines would need to perform their own consultations.
The consultation seeks the views of all CCGs, general practitioners and most importantly the public and patients. The consultation document can be viewed and responded to by clicking on this link.
As a national charity representing patients of homeopathy, the BHA will be making the strongest response to the consultation. We also encourage everyone to respond to the consultation. We will be providing additional information to assist in your responses in the coming week.
Any enquiries arising should be directed to John Burry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Act now and give NHS England your views on this consultation.