The random thoughts of a sceptical activist

Active ingredients: still none (hopefully)

While some of us were composing our considered responses to the MHRA’s consultation on homeopathy, supporters of the magic sugar pills panicked and urged friends and homeopaths to flood the MHRA with their ill-considered responses.

This orchestrated campaign was leaked last night and gave us all a good laugh.

It was obvious the writer of the original email either hadn’t read the MHRA consultation document or was just unable to understand it and her email no doubt scared many a homeopath to write desperate emails to the named official at the MHRA. Of course, everyone is perfectly entitled to respond and make their views known. It does help, though, if you have some basic understanding of the regulatory framework and what issues the MHRA was consulting on.

The panic email contained many errors, including this gem:

The practice of homeopathy by lay homeopaths is at stake, and if the MHRA changes the wording to the document mentioned below, we will …not be allowed to practice any longer.

The originator of the email appears to be the Administrator at a ‘school’ of homeopathy, so you would have thought she might have better understood the consultation.

Her assertion is — like homeopathy — nonsense: homeopaths are not about to be stopped selling their products. The consultation is about ending the privileged position some homeopathic products were inexplicably granted 30 years ago and about the warning labels on some of them. Of course, I have no idea why homeopaths would want to maintain the status quo…

The full email and Andy Lewis’ thoughts on it can be read on his blog:

The Homeopaths’ Desperate Campaign to the MHRA

And Crispian Jago has, of course, his own take on it:

However, I have submitted my own views on the consultation, on behalf of the Nightingale Collaboration.

The full document is here, but the summary is:

  • To protect the public, homeopathic products should be properly defined.
  • All PLRs should be revoked at the earliest opportunity.
  • The normal fees for the transfer of PLRs to other licence categories should be charged to the manufacturers, saving the MHRA some £250,000 to £700,000.
  • The warning labels on all homeopathic products should be revised so that the public have the information necessary to make fully informed choices.

The closing date for submissions is Friday 18 February: I urge all those concerned about the public being misled by homeopathic products to respond to the consultation.

But read it first.

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