The new licensing scheme for herbal remedies will mean that soon consumers will be unable to personally buy many traditional remedies themselves. However, an EU directive passed in 2004 and taking effect this year will mean that herbal medicines which face the ban are to stay on sale under plans to register UK practitioners.
The Government announced yesterday that herbal medicines which have not gone through the licensing process will still be available from practitioners who are registered with the Health Professions Council (HPC).
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has approved plans for the HPC to establish a register of practitioners who will be able to prescribe unlicensed herbal remedies. In a written statement Lansley said that the Government wanted to ensure indidviduals were still able to access unlicensed medicines, but now it will be through the safety of a statutory register for practitioners.
Chairman of the The European Herbal and Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association, Michael McIntyre said: ‘The Government is to be congratulated on making the right decision to bring in statutory regulation for all those prescribing herbal medicines.