The British Homeopathic Association (BHA) is taking the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) to court over a recent decision to ban public funding of homeopathy and other alternative medicines.
NHS England launched a consultation in October on the validity of funding treatments that many in the organization say have low clinical effectiveness. Its chief executive, Simon Stevens, singled out homeopathy as “at best a placebo and a misuse of scarce NHS funds”.
In December the organization announced that, following the consultation, 18 types of of alternative treatments and medicines – including homeopathy, omega-3 fatty acids and certain herbal medicines – would no longer be routinely prescribed in primary care.
This week the BHA announced that it will seek a judicial review against the NHS, arguing that the consultation (Items which not routinely prescribed in primary care) was “fundamentally flawed from the outset”.
In a statement, the BHA added: “ … the proposal was not formulated with input from any homeopathy experts or practitioners; it was not a genuine attempt to engage consultees (a decision having been ostensibly been predetermined) and did not provide consultees with adequate information on which to provide a considered and informed response”.
“… it was not a genuine attempt to engage consultees (a decision having been ostensibly been predetermined) and did not provide consultees with adequate information on which to provide a considered and informed response”
The BHA will argue that by failing to consult with the homeopathic community, and patient users of homeopathic treatments, the NHS acted unlawfully.
The BHA used the crowdfunding website crowdjustice.com to raise £18,000 to cover its legal costs.