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Ear to the Ground

British Homeopaths May Be Forced to Prescribe Candy Instead of Medicine

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Posted on Aug 3, 2012
Pink Sherbet Photography (CC BY 2.0)

Desperate to preserve business in the face of the British government’s order to bar most of their products from pharmaceutical shelves, homeopathic drug manufacturers have offered to rebrand their goods as candy.

After the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency received complaints that the drugs were not licensed and therefore illegal, the government was obliged to enforce a law forbidding the sale of such medicines.

“If regulation was applied to homeopathic medicines as understood in the context of conventional pharmaceutical medicines,” the government previously stated, “these products would have to be withdrawn from the market as medicines.”

The companies petitioned their customers to lobby members of Parliament, in effect asking politicians to openly break the law. One company called Helios is scrambling to license its remedies.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Guardian:

[I]f Helios can’t bend the MHRA to their will, they may have to resort to more… interesting alternatives. Here’s Helios explaining one of them to the MHRA:

If necessary we could revise the manufacturing method, the labelling of the bottles and kit box to present them as non-medicines and non-homeopathic and market them as ‘confectionery’. Customers who have an interest in homeopathy would still know how to use them and would continue to purchase them despite limited labelling. There would of course be media repercussions and uncontrolled sources appearing and confusion among the public and MPs who would demand a full explanation for the change.

This is an option which our customers would support if it ensured a continuation of the supply of kits until they are fully licensed.

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