As we saw a few days ago, the medicines regulator have written a robust response to the current panic campaign by homeopaths to try to create new legislation that would let them practice legally. It is slowly dawning on homeopaths that their business model is illegal. And with current plans to simplify medicines legislation, that illegality has been exposed.
The Society of Homeopaths look like they have been lobbying ministers. An email to their members is reproduced below. They wanted to keep their lobbying activities private, but homeopaths are not good on detail and their letter has entered the public domain.
The letter is astonishing. The implication is that they know that their members are acting illegally but that they have got away with it for decades. They have sought reassurances from government ministers that current ‘levels of enforcement’ will be maintained. That is, they hope they can keep on getting away with it.
Best you read the letter.
Society meets ministerial team
Thank you for your continued support with the consolidation and review of the medicines act 1968 MP Letter writing campaign.
As you know, the Society and partners have been working extremely hard behind the scenes to represent members and their best interests in this matter, including taking a leading role on engagement with the Government.
On Wednesday of this week the current campaign resulted in a meeting between our representatives and the Ministerial team from the Department of Health.
The good news is that the Department of Health continues to be in favour of patient choice and access to homeopathy as it currently stands and recognises the potential impact to patients, practitioners and homeopathic pharmacies of any changes to the way the Act is enforced.
Although during the meeting it was discussed that Section 10 would not be part of the consolidation process it was highlighted that current levels of enforcement of the act would continue in the way it has done for the past 40 years and therefore would not seek to restrict the current homeopathic provision/access routes.
To amend Section 10 it would require a unique consultation process and could therefore not form part of the consolidation process.
The Society, together with partners will continue to engage with the relevant Ministers. When the review has continued through the legislative process the Minister has offered to meet with us again to review the situation.
Nearly every MP has now been contacted and I would like to thank those members that have written to and in some cases visited their MPs to highlight the relevant issues.
Parliament is due to recess on the 17th July and we will keep you fully abreast of the situation and let you know of any further action and next steps needed in due course.
In the interim thank you for your continued support
Society of Homeopaths
Please note this email is intended for Society Members only and we would kindly ask for this email not to be re-produced.
The Society of Homeopaths have a code of ethics that is quite clear,
Registered and student clinical members are required to comply with the criminal and relevant civil law of the country, state or territory where they are practising.
It would appear that the Society intend to ignore the central illegality at the heart of their business. That they do not care about their code of ethics, should not surprise readers of this blog. That they sought assurances from government ministers that they could continue to hope that the law will not be enforced is quite astonishing.
Now, being the Society of Homeopaths, we should treat what they say with some skepticism. Freedom of Information requests may expose a different side to this story. We shall see. The wording here is ambiguous. Of course, there will still be legal access to some homeopathic products, and indeed there is no attempt by the government to choke this off. But that does mean they now have a free ticket to continue trading in the huge numbers of unregistered products on the market.
So, does this mean that Homeopaths need not fear the law?
I doubt it. Their campaign has had the effect of making it very public that the marketing of unregistered homeopathic products is illegal, that the practice is widespread, that homeopaths know this, and they intend to do nothing about it.
Regulators have an obligation to enforce the law. They have no choice in the matter. The MHRA have forced homeopathic pharmacies to withdraw products before. It is difficult to imagine they will not continue to do so.
In addition, the homeopathic pharmacies will also come under the regulatory eye of the General Pharmaceutical Council. Action at this level could quickly choke of illegal supply.
Homeopaths are not out of the woods. Hoping that they can get away with it is not a solution.
Their only hope is if the regulators themselves fail to uphold their duties. That is not impossible, but a very long shot.