Your access to homeopathic medicines is under threat… Why? The Medicines Act is being simplified, which is a good thing because much duplication is being removed. However, as a result there are some key elements which could adversely affect your access to homeopathic medicines if the proposals go into force. What will happen to my access to homeopathic medicines? If the current proposals by the MHRA are endorsed by government the following would occur:
- You would no longer be able to get homeopathic medicines by phone or online
- To get any unlicensed homeopathic medicine a face-to-face consultation would be required at a registered pharmacy. Unlicensed medicines number in the thousands and make up the majority of homeopathic prescriptions, while there are only 50 licenced homeopathic medicines. This will also mean you cannot legally buy unlicensed homeopathic medicines online or over the phone as you currently do.
- Homeopaths would not be able to dispense or prescribe medicines to you
- Homeopathic practitioners would not be able to dispense unlicensed homeopathic medicines to their patients. This arises because homeopaths are not recognised by this law as being supplementary prescribers and it will be illegal for homeopathic pharmacies to supply them with the essential (unlicensed) medicines required for their patients
- You would have to get your homeopathic medicines personally at a handful of licenced homeopathic pharmacies in Britain
- Hundreds of thousands of people who currently have prescriptions filled for unlicensed homeopathic medicines will be unable to obtain their urgent medicines. The estimated 6 million users of homeopathy in Britain cannot be expected to be supplied medicines face-to-face by less than five licenced premises. What you can do to stop this from happening! Write to your MP and tell him or her – especially if your MP sits on the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments or is involved with Health or Pharmacy. We are not asking to move mountains. All that needs to be done is a small change to Section 10 of the proposed new Medicines Act to allow greater freedom to dispense remedies to practitioners and could also overcome the face-to-face issue which is unworkable. It is anticipated that the new Medicines Act will be put before the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments for approval in late May/early June for implementation in July, so your swift action is critical! Here are a few helpful bullets and links to assist you in contacting your MP on this issue.
Write to your MP: Medicines Act consolidation 2012 You can identify the name of your MP by using this website: http://findyourmp.parliament.uk/ You can find out who sits on what committees by going to this website: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/ A few helpful points that could be used in your letter: It is not necessary or recommended to include all the text suggested here. It is critical that you personalise your letter with your own views and experiences. Overall, try to keep the letter short (a page or less), and emphasise any points that are relevant to the particular MP.
- I’m deeply concerned a draft proposal set out by the MHRA as part of its consolidation and review of the Medicines Act 1968 could have a significant impact on my ability as a patient to access homeopathic medicines in the UK. . In its current form section 10 of the proposal would only allow unlicensed homeopathic medicines to be bought directly from a pharmacist face-to-face, in effect outlawing the purchase of these medicines over the telephone or via online ordering. This would mean I would be deprived of the medicines that I have found to be so beneficial to my health.
- There are only five homeopathic pharmacies in the UK, so most homeopathic medicines are ordered from these specialist pharmacies either by phone or via the Internet. Therefore the enforcement of section 10 in its current form will have serious consequences for the six million people in the UK who choose to use this form of complementary medicine.
- If not revised the proposal would also have serious consequences for more than 2,000 homeopathic practitioners, many of whom would find it impossible to treat patients like myself because they can no longer obtain the appropriate homeopathic medicine. . I understand that a central plank of government health policy is to increase patient choice. Section 10 will eliminate choice for people like me who want to be treated with homeopathy.
- I would like to call on your support in getting the Health Minister to revise slightly the proposed language of the revised Medicines Act to ensure that I have continued access to a full range of homeopathic medicines and my right to choose homeopathic treatment is maintained. .As a practitioner I want to be recognised as a supplimentary prescriber so that I may continue to prescribe licensed and unlicensed homeopathic medicines to my patients.