There is no evidence that homeopathic treatments work, at all, except for as a placebo, according to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee.
But despite a 2010 report suggesting that prescriptions for the treatments should not continue, 700 GP practices prescribed homeopathic treatments over the past year.
Oxford University researchers analysed data from GP practices from NHS digital – and found that several ineffective or wasteful treatments designated ‘low priority’ by the NHS are still being used.
Professor Dame Sally Claire Davies, the Chief Medical Officer for England, has described homeopathy as ‘rubbish’.
Dr Ben Goldacre, who leads the team at the EBM DataLab at Oxford University’s Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences says, ‘Overall there may be good reasons for individual patients to receive some of these treatments, but in many cases where we have identified outliers there will be room for improvement.
‘Easily accessible data is the key to improving quality. Each of the 19 treatments termed ‘low priority’ by NHS England represent possible waste in our health service, due to either a lack of good-quality evidence for their safety and effectiveness, or because there’s a cheaper alternative.’