Health minister: NHS spending on homeopathy is justified

The Health Minister, the Rt Hon Mike O’Brien QC MP, has told the Science and Technology select committee that there is no justification for cutting funding for homeopathy on the NHS and that a significant number of people believe it works.

Mr O’Brien said cutting the funding would be “illiberal” and “a denial of personal choice” and that there is “a significant body of clinicians who take a view that [homeopathy] works”. He told the committee that there was “justification for more research” in homeopathy.

He reiterated that it is up to individual clinicians to decide on the best treatment for their patients and that it was not his job to tell GPs whether or not to prescribe homeopathy. He also clarified that the spend on homeopathic medicines in the NHS is only £152,000, from a total NHS annual drugs budget of £11 billion.

Mr O’Brien was speaking during the second session of an evidence check on homeopathy. Both sessions (25 November and 30 November) can be viewed on the parliament website.