Dear <Your MP>
GOVERNMENT CONSULTATION ON HOMEOPATHIC PRESCRIPTIONS
I am writing regarding the Government’s proposed consultation on whether GPs should be allowed to continue prescribing homeopathic remedies.
The NHS currently spends an estimated £110,000 on homeopathic remedies, a tiny fraction of the NHS budget. However, preventing doctors from prescribing these remedies will not even save that money, because patients will still need other treatment. Most have already been unsuccessfully given a range of expensive pharmaceutical drugs before finally finding a solution with homeopathy. It is effective for patients who are given it, valued by doctors who prescribe it, and cheaper than the failed alternatives. Many of these patients have contraindications to pharmaceutic drugs, or chronic illnesses which have not been helped by conventional medicines. Banning homeopathic prescriptions goes against the drive towards individualised, patient centred care in modern healthcare.
The availability of NHS homeopathy has declined in the past 10 years following a sustained campaign by a small number of individuals and lobby groups. It began in 2006 with a letter that was written unauthorised on Department of Health (DH) headed paper by a group of individuals telling Primary Care Groups to stop funding homeopathy, and is culminating now with threats of legal action against the DH and various Clinical Commissioning Groups. This reduction in availability has not been driven by clinicians nor patients, but by a very determined lobby group.
Homeopathy has been part of the NHS since its inception. It is used widely across the EU, and in countries such as France and Germany, an integral part of their health service. Studies have shown that when homeopathy is used, costs are reduced and patient outcomes improved.
I am therefore asking for you to support the clinical decision making of doctors who (when they believe it is the most appropriate treatment option) prescribe homeopathic remedies, and to stand up for the thousands of patients whose health has benefited from homeopathy and whose continued good health depends on it being available on the NHS.
It is not right that patients suffer and Government policy changed by this lobby group pressure.
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA