Sceptics stage homeopathy 'overdose'

Homeopathy sceptics have staged a mass "overdose" of homeopathic remedies, in a bid to prove they have no effect.

Protesters ate whole bottles of tablets at branches of Boots in places such as Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow, London, Leicester, Edinburgh and Birmingham. They have asked the pharmacy chain to stop selling the remedies, which they call "scientifically absurd".

The Society of Homeopaths called it a "stunt". Boots said it followed industry guidelines on homeopathy. From 2005 to 2008 the NHS spent almost £12m on homeopathic treatments, according to a 2009 Freedom Of Information request by Channel 4 News.

'Placebo effect'

Supporters of homeopathy say it is a system that uses very highly diluted substances to trigger the body to heal itself, but critics argue there is no evidence they work. The demonstrations were organised by the Merseyside Skeptics Society (MSS).

Michael Marshall, from the MSS, said: "We believe that they shouldn't be selling sugar pills to people who are sick. Homeopathy never works any better than a placebo. The remedies are diluted so much that there is nothing in them." Mr Marshall said demonstrations were also planned in Canada, Spain, the US and Australia.

The Society of Homeopaths said it did not expect the protesters to suffer any adverse reactions from taking large quantities of the remedies.

Source - BBC