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Don't lose your right to choose safe, effective homoeopathic treatment

Your access to homoeopathic remedies is under threat

16 May, 2012

Natural Health News — Important changes at EU level mean it will be much more difficult for millions in the UK to buy and use homoeopathic medicines.

If you care about your health, and value your right to choose homoeopathy here is what you need to know – and how you can help.

The Medicines Act is being simplified, which is a good thing because much duplication is being removed. However, as a result there are some key elements which could adversely affect everyone’s access to homoeopathic medicines if the all of the proposals go through.

If the current proposals by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) are endorsed by Government this is what would happen:

You would no longer able to get homoeopathic medicines by phone or online

To get any unlicensed homoeopathic medicine a face-to-face consultation would be required at a registered pharmacy.  There are literally thousands of unlicensed homoeopathic remedies and these make up the majority of homoeopathic prescriptions, while there are only 50 licensed homoeopathic medicines.  This will also mean you cannot legally buy unlicensed homoeopathic medicines online or over the phone as you currently do.

Homoeopaths would not be able to dispense or prescribe medicines to you

Homoeopathic practitioners would not be able to dispense unlicensed homoeopathic medicines to their patients. This is because homoeopaths are not recognised by this law as being supplementary prescribers and it will be illegal for homoeopathic pharmacies to supply them with the essential (unlicensed) medicines required for their patients.

You would have to get your homoeopathic medicines personally at a handful of licensed homoeopathic pharmacies in Britain

Hundreds of thousands of people who currently have prescriptions filled for unlicensed homoeopathic medicines will be unable to obtain their urgent medicines.  The estimated 6 million users of homoeopathy in Britain cannot be expected to be supplied medicines face-to-face by less than five licensed premises.

What you can do to stop this from happening

The Society of Homeopaths is asking everyone to write to their MP, or better still go and see your MP – especially if your MP sits on the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments or is involved with Health or Pharmacy.

All that needs to be done is for a small change to be made to Section 10 of the proposed new Medicines Act which will allow greater freedom to dispense remedies to practitioners and could also overcome the face-to-face issue which is unworkable.

It is anticipated that the new Medicines Act will be put before the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments for approval in late May/early June for implementation in July, taking action now is critical!

Write to your MP

Here are some helpful tips to get you started.

First of all you can identify the name of your MP by clicking here. You can also find out which MPs sit on which committees by clicking here.

If you are emailing make sure you put ‘Medicines Act consolidation 2012’ in the subject line, or if you are sending a letter you can head it ‘RE: Medicines Act consolidation 2012’.

There are some key points you should try to make. It is not necessary or recommended to include all the text suggested below.  It is more important that you personalise your letter with your own views and experiences.

  • I’m deeply concerned that a draft proposal set out by the MHRA as part of its consolidation and review of the Medicines Act 1968 could have a significant impact on my ability as a patient to access homoeopathic medicines in the UK.
  • In its current form section 10 of the proposal would only allow unlicensed homoeopathic medicines to be bought directly from a pharmacist face-to-face, in effect outlawing the purchase of these medicines over the telephone or via online ordering. This would mean I would be deprived of the medicines that I have found to be so beneficial to my health.
  • There are only five homoeopathic pharmacies in the UK, so most homoeopathic medicines are ordered from these specialist pharmacies either by phone or via the Internet. The enforcement of section 10 in its current form will have serious consequences for the six million people in the UK who choose to use this form of complementary medicine.
  • If not revised the proposal would also have serious consequences for more than 2,000 homoeopathic practitioners, many of whom would find it impossible to treat patients like myself because they can no longer obtain the appropriate homoeopathic  medicine.
  • I understand that it is central to government health policy to increase patient choice. Section 10 will eliminate choice for people like me who want to be treated with homoeopathy.
  • I would like to call on your support in getting the Health Minister to make a small change to the proposed language of the revised Medicines Act to ensure that I have continued access to a full range of homoeopathic medicines and that my right to choose homoeopathic treatment is maintained.

It doesn’t need to take you very long – in fact, try to keep the letter short (a page or less), and emphasise any points that are relevant to the particular MP – but your support is so crucial in helping to keep homoeopathic medicines freely available to everyone.

Sign the petition

Whether you are in the UK or other countries,  please also take a moment to sign the Avaaz petition here.