The availability of homeopathy on the NHS is important
I wonder if people such as Michael Marshall (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2016;297:101), who would refuse patients the option of NHS homeopathic treatment, have considered the plight of people failed by evidence-based medicine? Where are those with chronic, disabling conditions to turn when the medicines available on the NHS do not work, or worse, are positively harmful?
Take the instance of a woman with multiple drug allergies who has no means of treating her severe inflammatory arthritis and no suitable analgesia. It has been demonstrated that disease states with immune system involvement are particularly susceptible to the placebo effect but how does one induce this? Current thinking precludes treatment with placebo medicines but it so happens that homeopathic remedies would appear, from the results of clinical trials, to be a good substitute. Used properly, there is a good chance that in this case homeopathic treatment may achieve a real therapeutic effect.
Patients who cannot tolerate allopathic treatment do not just go away because they cannot take the prescribed medicine. They suffer and surely deserve a better range of options than those provided by the current obsession with evidence-based medicine. The availability of homeopathic treatment is important and should not be denied until better alternatives become commonplace.
Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2016.20201707
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