Homeopathic remedies will no longer be available on prescription on the NHS according to newly-announced plans. The move comes as part of the NHS England’s drive to save more than £190m a year through a new set of national guidelines, which are now open for public consultation.
According to the draft consultation, prescriptions for homeopathic treatments cost NHS England £92,412 in 2016, and at least £578,000 over the past five years. Announcing the plans, Simon Stevens, NHS England’s chief executive, said homeopathy is “at best a placebo and a misuse of scarce NHS funds”.
Besides homeopathy, the plans highlight 17 other items that will no longer be available on prescription for reasons ranging from low clinical effectiveness to low cost-effectiveness. These include herbal medicines, Omega-3 fatty acid compounds, rubs and ointments used to relieve muscle pain known as rubefacients, and travel vaccines including hepatitis B, yellow fever and rabies that are not available on the NHS for travel, but are sometimes erroneously given.