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Closing homeopathic hospitals in the UK

Here’s the latest on the controversy over homeopathy in the UK.

From the NEWSTATESMAN, “Two years ago, a loose coalition of like-minded scientists wrote an open letter to chief executives of the National Health Service Trusts. The signatories simply stated that homoeopathy and other alternative therapies were unproven, and that the NHS should reserve its funds for treatments that had been shown to work.”

The controversy has been covered here and here on this blog.

Over the following year, the overwhelming majority of trusts either stopped sending patients to the 4 homoeopathic hospitals, or introduced measures to strictly limit referrals.

As a result, the Tunbridge Wells Homoeopathic Hospital is scheduled to close next year and the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital is likely to follow.

The bottom line?
Homoeopaths are organizing a march to deliver a petition to Downing Street on June 22nd. Local campaign groups are being formed and patients are being urged to sign the petition.

The NEWSTATESMAN reports that proponents of homeopathy have 382 signatures so far, which means there’s a long way to go to reach the target of 250,000.

The anemic response is surprising considering that 42% of GPs refer patients to homeopaths, and there are 3000 registered homeopaths in the UK, according to the article. At that rate, just one signature per doctor in a homeopathic practice would result in 90% more signatures than they have now, while 83 satisfied clients per homeopathic physician would meet the goal.

This is one case where less is not more.

4/18/08 15:32 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.