Good news for fans of medicine that actually works: NHS England has recommended to the Health Secretary that he should slap homeopathic remedies on to the blacklist - so that Doctors will no longer be able to prescribe the "alternative" medicine, because there's no scientific evidence that the pills actually do anything.
The moves comes following a consultation on items that should not be routinely subscribed. All together, it identified 18 items including homeopathy, which should net the NHS a saving of around £141m.
One of the groups campaigning for the change is the Good Thinking Society, which promotes evidence based medicine and rational thinking. Responding to the news, Project Director Michael Marshall said “Today is another hugely significant milestone for all supporters of evidence based medicine, for everyone who has campaigned on this issue, and for anyone who believes the NHS should only spend their limited resources on treatments that actually work.”
Over the last few years, the charity has scored a number of victories, persuading different NHS Trusts around the country to review their policies.
Though homeopathy is positioned as an alternative medicine, it doesn't actually work. It's based on the debunked idea that "like cures likes", which might on the surface sound credible - after all, that's a bit like how vaccines work. The only problem is that in the case of homeopathy it is bullshit - with most solutions watered down so a dose of homeopathic medicine in sugar-pill form would usually contain zero molecules of whatever the supposed active ingredient is. Scientists have understood for decades that the practice to be a nonsense. A couple of months ago, a big group of European Scientists agreed it was bullshit, agreeing with Australian scientists from a few years earlier.
As for the homeopaths who make money offering false hope or expectations to people suffering real illnesses, this will no doubt be a bitter pill to swallow. But at least they'll have plenty of sugar on hand to help the medicine go down.