“Cutting the NHS spend on homeopathy is not justified.”

1 December 2009

The Health Minister, the Rt Hon Mike O’Brien QC MP, has told the Science and Technology select committee that cutting the NHS spend on homeopathy is not justified and that a body of reputable people, including doctors, believe in it.

Mr O’Brien said cutting the funding would be “illiberal” and “a denial of personal choice”. He also said there were a range of opinions amongst clinicians and scientists which could not be ignored and he told the committee that there was “justification for more research” in homeopathy.

He reiterated that it is up to individual clinicians to decide on the best treatment for their patients and that it was not his job to tell GPs whether or not to prescribe homeopathy. He also clarified that the NHS spend on homeopathic medicines is only £152,000, from a total NHS annual drugs budget of £11 billion.

Mr O’Brien was speaking during the second session of an evidence check on homeopathy. Both sessions (25 November and 30 November) can be viewed on the parliament website.