Homeopaths in the UK are about to find out what it’s like to be properly regulated….and they don’t like it.
Consolidation of existing regulations by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will come into force in July 2012 despite a vigorous campaign by supporters of homeopathy. While the details of the regulations take a little effort to get your head around, there are a couple of good summaries of the situation, particularly on the UK Parliament website.
Consolidation of the regulations in this way does nothing more dramatic than bring homeopathy products under the same restrictions as other products that make therapeutic claims.
This a big problem for homeopaths because the situation in the UK is that there are only 5 appropriately qualified pharmacies under the regulations which can dispense the four dozen or so formally registered potions that can be legally sold.
All other homeopathic prescribing and supply not involving a face-to-face consultation with a registered homeopath will be unlawful after July 1 2012.
The thousands of unregistered homeopathic preparations that are not included in the regulations (equivalent to our TGA Registered products) will no longer be legal for sale. Even for the handful of legal preparations, supply without a face-to-face consultation will cease. All online sales will be illegal, and even phone ordering will have to cease.