18 February 2011
British taxpayers are still funding unproven homeopathic remedies on the NHS.
According to new research from GP magazine, a third of primary care trusts in England are still funding the alternative medicine.
Some 32 of the 104 NHS trusts that responded to Freedom of Information Act requests said they were still supporting homeopathy, despite a plea from the British Medical Association (BMA) to outlaw support for the treatment.
In February last year, the House of Commons' science and technology committee urged the NHS to pull the plug on homeopathy support, but later that year the coalition government said funding would be continued.
Dr Vivienne Nathanson, head of the science and ethics at the BMA, said: "Homeopathic remedies do not have a scientific evidence base to support their use. And the BMA believes that limited and scarce NHS resources should only be used to support medicine and treatment that have been shown to be effective."
Many homeopathic remedies, if proven to be efficacious, would violate the fundamental principles of science. Studies have been less than favourable and much of the positive research into a number of homeopathic treatments has been described as ambiguous.
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