The Homeopathy debate rages on…
The recent British Medical Association’s annual conference in Brighton has raised questions about whether funding for homeopathy should be ceased with certain doctors saying it should no longer even be marketed as a medicine.
Homeopathy is a 200 year old system which involves giving patients highly-diluted amounts of a substance which in larger quantities could cause symptoms similar to those being treated. For instance someone suffering with insomnia may be treated using caffeine.
Skeptics argue that in some cases none of the original product is left and the remedies can lead to patients shunning conventional medicine. The NHS spend around $4m a year helping to fund four homeopathic hospitals and prescriptions.
Dr Mary McCarthy is a GP from Shropshire and is one of those who believes the therapy lacks evidence and simply acts with a placebo effect, where the patient only improves because they believe the treatment will work.
On the opposite side of the fence is Dr David Shipstone, a urologist from the East Midlands who has said it would be unfair to single out homeopathy as there are many treatments used by doctors despite concrete evidence that they work.
The Society of Homeopaths has said there is evidence that the remedies work and have pointed out that public spending on the treatment is very low and is just 0.001% of the £11 billion drugs budget.
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