Conclusions on the licensing
152. The MHRA, with commendable frankness, told our
inquiry that it does not consider that homeopathic medicines have
efficacy beyond placebo. The evidence we received during this
inquiry supports that conclusion. On that basis, the tests that
the MHRA uses to assess non-homeopathic medical products would
mean that no homeopathic products would be licensed by the MHRA.
Instead of introducing a blanket requirement for evidence of efficacy,
the MHRA operates three licensing regimes for homeopathic products,
in part, for historical reasons and, in part, it appears, to support
the homeopathic industry. It
is unacceptable for the MHRA to license placebo productsin
this case sugar pillsconferring upon them some of the status
of medicines. Even if medical claims on labels are prohibited,
the MHRA's licensing itself lends direct credibility to a product.
Licensing paves the way for retail in pharmacies and consequently
the patient's view of the credibility of homeopathy may be further
enhanced. We conclude that it is time to break this chain and,
as the licensing regimes operated by the MHRA fail the Evidence
Check, the MHRA should withdraw its discrete licensing schemes
for homeopathic products.