Opinion Former Article

Humanists celebrate NHS England defunding of homeopathy prescriptions

In reaction to the news that the board of NHS England has voted to defund homeopathy prescriptions, and recommended that Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt blacklist homeopathy from being provided on the NHS at all, Humanists UK Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson said:

‘We’re delighted that decision-makers at NHS England have looked at the evidence on this issue and made a clear decision. This means that more funds will now be available for patients who need genuine treatment and support from their GPs.

‘There's a difference between homeopathic remedies - which amount to magic sugar pills, and have long since been proven mere placebos - and medicines which have something in them that actually has a clinical effect. This change will help to bring clarity to millions in Britain about which options are and are not effective.’

Humanists UK and its members have campaigned against the funding of homeopathy and other so-called ‘complementary and alternative medicines’ on the NHS for many decades, and in recent years the charity has celebrated the gradual withdrawal of funding from various NHS trusts. Today NHS England has made the same recommendations with respect to herbal medicines, which Humanists UK also welcomes.

The decision to end primary care prescriptions for homeopathy mean that homeopathy funding is now restricted purely to some NHS Trusts clinics in Scotland, London, and South West England.

Mr Thompson continued,

‘While it’s good news that support for homeopathy has been diluted, it hasn’t been eliminated entirely. We’ll continue to push for a health service across the UK which is built on evidence, empathy, and concern for patients’ wellbeing.’


For further comment or information contact Richy Thompson, Director of Public Affairs and Policy at richy@humanism.org.uk or 020 7324 3072.

Read NHS England’s board papers on the matter: https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/05-pb-30-11-2017-items-which-should-not-be-routinely-prescribed-in-primary-care.pdf

Read more about Humanists UK’s campaign work on ‘complementary and alternative medicine’: https://humanism.org.uk/campaigns/public-ethical-issues/homeopathy/

At Humanists UK, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. Our work brings non-religious people together to develop their own views, helping people be happier and more fulfilled in the one life we have. Through our ceremonies, education services, and community and campaigning work, we strive to create a fair and equal society for all.

Humanists UK recently changed its name from the British Humanist Association: https://humanism.org.uk/2017/05/22/bha-becomes-humanists-uk/

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