17 March 2011
Herbal remedies will be given official medical endorsement as of May 1st when the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) adds so-called 'traditional treatments' to a state-backed registry.
As a result all herbal medicines given approval will contain leaflets informing patients how the treatments should be taken and what possible side-effects they have - similar to those provided with clinically proven medicines.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, the MHRA's head of herbal medicine policy Richard Woodfield said the accreditation process will clarify the contents of herbal medicines for consumers and dispel the "misapprehension that all herbal medicines are safe".
Retailers will, however, be able to sell existing stock without correct labelling after the new rules come into force.
The move is part of health secretary Andrew Lansley's move to develop a workaround that will allow retailers to continue selling unproven remedies despite the EU banning them.
Posted by Edward Bartel
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