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March 2010 press releases
1 March 2010
BHA response to Committee Report
The British Homeopathic Association finds the Science and Technology Committee report sets out recommendations that are completely unfounded and reflect the biased nature of the Committee’s review of evidence.
This report hinges on the repeated assertion that homeopathy is merely placebo, a view that is not supported by scientific evidence. We have already responded to the report’s criticisms of the evidence submitted by the BHA. The BHA is further setting the record straight by responding in detail to the recommendations put forward in the report. Our rebuttals are appearing on 1-3 March 2010 and address the following:
Part 1: The policy on NHS funding and provision of homeopathy (Recommendation 1)
Part 2: Expectations of the evidence base (Recommendations 2-6)
Part 3: Evidence Check: NHS funding and provision of homeopathy (Recommendations 7-17)
Part 4: NICE and Homeopathy on the NHS (Recommendations 18-24)
Part 5: Product licensing and pharmacies (Recommendations 25-32)
Part 6: Overall conclusions (Recommendation 33)
The report is systematic only in excluding facts that tend to support homeopathy: it omits or misrepresents any research evidence (including the BHA’s), which challenges the view that patients’ response to homeopathy is due to placebo. Large areas of evidence that were mentioned in written submissions and oral evidence are ignored. These include all systematic reviews and meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials of homeopathy for specific conditions and groups of conditions, and systematic reviews of biological models of homeopathic responses. The evidence suggests that homeopathy is effective in a number of specific conditions, and there are a number of reproducible biological models of homeopathy.
It would be ill-advised for the government to accept the report’s flawed recommendations, especially from a committee that issued its report with the votes of only four of 14 committee members: three for, one against. If adopted, these recommendations not only would deny patients vital treatment but would threaten important and necessary research development in homeopathy.