Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Alternative/complementary medicine and the NHS

The BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning drew my attention to a letter to the Times, from 13 senior academics, to the chair of St George's NHS Trust in south London, arguing that the NHS promotes homoeopathy and other complementary therapies too much. Part of their argument is that there have been no systematic reviews of homoeopathy that indicate that it has any benefit, and part is that there are substances that have serious side effects that are being promoted as complementary remedies.

The Today programme specifically mentioned Professor James Black as a signatory of the letter. One signatory who struck me particularly is Professor Edzard Ernst, who is Director of Complementary Medicine at the Peninsula Medical School.

The full letter is (today, anyway) at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2191985,00.html. There is also a debate at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,564-2192740,00.html.

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