The William Harvey Research Institute
London EC1M 6BQ
From Professor Gustav Born FRS and others
21st May 2007
Dear Director of Commissioning
Re commissioning of homeopathic services in your trust
In May 2006, we and other colleagues in the medical community wrote to the Chief Executives of all Primary Care Trusts to express our concern about the continued provision to patients of ‘alternative’ medicine including homeopathy, in the absence of evidence of efficacy, across the NHS. This reflected our broader concern with the need to promote evidence-based medicine in the provision of all medical services, which we are sure that you share.
Since last May, a number of trusts have reduced their provision of homeopathic services through commissioning arrangements to reflect the need for greater scientific scrutiny. If you have not already reviewed your own trust’s provision, you might find it useful to consider, in conjunction with your Director of Public Health, the paper that we have enclosed which, while not a full review of the scientific position, has been used by other trusts to promote evidence based commissioning.
While it may be tempting to dismiss homeopathy expenditure as relatively small across the NHS, we must consider the cultural and social damage of maintaining as a matter of principle expenditure on practices which are unsupported by evidence.
Professor Gustav Born FRS Emeritus Professor of Pharmacology, Kings College London
Professor Michael Baum Emeritus Professor of Surgery, University College London
Professor David Colquhoun FRS University College London
Professor Edzard Ernst Peninsula Medical School, Exeter
Professor John Garrow Emeritus Professor of Human Nutrition, London
Mr Leslie Rose Consultant Clinical Scientist
Professor Raymond Tallis Emeritus Professor of Geriatric Medicine, University of Manchester
Mrs Hazel Thornton, Hon. DSc. (Leicester) Honorary Visiting Fellow, Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester
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