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RPS criticises homeopathic treatments

The UK's Royal Pharmaceutical Society has criticised the marketing of homeopathic treatments in a response to a consultation from the MHRA

The UK's Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has criticised the marketing of homeopathic treatments in a response to a consultation from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The RPS said it 'expressed concerns that the public may not fully understand the principles on which homeopathy is based' with more regulation needed in terms of what information is provided on product labels.

Current rules allow labels to display claims based on the product's traditional homeopathic use, with the RPS recommending that these labels carry a statement that these efficacy claims are not based on the same requirements applied to conventional drugs.

Chief scientific advisor with the RPS, Jayne Lawrence, said: "Given the lack of clinical and scientific evidence to support homeopathy, the RPSGB does not endorse homeopathy as a form of treatment.

"The Society strongly believes that any advertising for any homeopathic product, regardless of its licensing status needs to include the statements that there is no scientific evidence for homeopathy nor any evidence to support the clinical efficacy of homeopathic products beyond a placebo effect."

Of particular concern was the use of the word 'medicine' in relation to homeopathy, with the RPS claiming this could be viewed by patients as legitimising homeopathic products as clinically approved treatments.

Confusion between homeopathic products and herbal remedies was also discussed, with the RPS requesting the MHRA make the difference between the two products clear to the public so a fully informed choice can be made.

4th November 2010

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