Memorandum submitted by the British Medical Association (BMA)
I note that the Science and Technology Committee's evidence check on
homeopathic remedies is drawing to a conclusion and I thought that the
Committee might be interested in the British Medical Association's (BMA) view
on this issue. I wanted to inform the
Committee that we have long been concerned about the use of complementary and
alternative medicines (CAM) and
over the last 20 years the BMA's Board of Science has worked extensively to
develop BMA policy on CAM.
policy development has focussed on the discrete therapies which have
established training programmes, criteria of competence, professional standards
and the potential for use alongside orthodox medical care. Doctors have a duty
to safeguard public health and BMA policy has therefore focused on the
principles of good practice in CAM
which would safeguard the individual against possible harm to health and
maximise the potential benefits of particular CAM methods.
As you may be aware, the popularity of CAM
has led to greater demand for CAM
on the NHS. This has coincided with changes in healthcare provision which aim
to facilitate greater patient choice. Research into the efficacy of CAM however has
raised questions about the use of NHS resources for such provision. As such our members would be supportive of a call
in the Committee's final report to request that NICE
review and report on the cost effectiveness of homoeopathic remedies and for NICE to recommend whether they should continue to
be funded by the NHS.
I hope that you find this useful.
Board of Science
BMA House, Tavistock Square, London,
T 020 7383 6223 F 020
E [email protected]