Yesterday (5 May) the High Court rejected the British Homeopathic Association’s challenge to NHS England’s decision to no longer routinely fund homeopathy on the NHS.
At the end of last year, following a joint public consultation initiated on behalf of NHSCC members, NHS England published guidance to curb prescriptions for 18 ineffective, unsafe or low clinical priority treatments, including homeopathy, which would save up to £141 million a year.
“We welcome the decision of the High Court to reject the application by the British Homeopathic Association to overturn the NHS England guidance that supports local clinical commissioners to limit the routine prescribing of products of low clinical effectiveness. This is an important element of ongoing work we are doing jointly with NHS England to ensure the finite NHS budget is spent effectively to deliver the best possible patient care and confirms the process to consult on and develop the guidance was robust and clinically proven.
“It is important that we have an honest conversation with the public, patients and clinicians about what the NHS should and can provide with the constrained funds it has available. As a part of that, it is right that we review what is currently offered on NHS prescription so that we can prioritise our spending on those products that are the most clinically effective and provide the best outcomes for patients.”
Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, also welcomed the decision, adding: “There is no robust evidence to support homeopathy which is at best a placebo and a misuse of scarce NHS funds.
“So we strongly welcome the High Court’s clear-cut decision to kick out this costly and spurious legal challenge.”
In March 2018, NHS England published a further list of 35 minor, short-term conditions for which over the counter medicines should not routinely be prescribed. These have been significant pieces of work for NHSCC over the last year to support our members to release significant amounts of NHS funding locally and fund higher priority areas.
6 May 2018