The NHS should stop funding homeopathy, MPs say.
The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee said using public money on the highly-diluted remedies could not be justified. The cross-party group said there was no evidence beyond a placebo effect, when a patient gets better because of their belief that the treatment works. But manufacturers and supporters of homeopathy disputed the report, saying the MPs had ignored important evidence. It is thought about £4m a year is spent on homeopathy by the NHS, helping to fund four homeopathic hospitals in London, Bristol, Liverpool and Glasgow and numerous prescriptions.
Homeopathy is a 200-year-old system of treatment that uses highly diluted substances - sometimes so none of the original product is left - that are given orally in the belief that it will stimulate the body's self-healing mechanism.
Supporters believe the remedies help relieve a range of minor ailments from bruising and swelling to constipation and insomnia. But the MPs said homeopathy was basically sugar pills that only worked because of faith.