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On 1st September 2006, new regulations allowed homeopathic products to be marketed alongside conventional medicines while exempting them from providing scientific evidence of efficacy. The motivation for these new regulations, according to the Regulatory Impact Assessment of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), was to eliminate old-style licences and to facilitate the expansion of the homeopathic industry in the UK through new products. The changes have been denounced by many doctors and scientists.
"Patients will be put at risk by a new regulatory system being brought in for homeopathic medicine, critics say. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is introducing rules to allow remedies to specify the ailments for which they can be used. But critics argue the treatments will not be rigorously tested as they do not need to undergo the clinical trials orthodox drugs do to get a licence." BBC News (1st September 2006) [Includes a video link entitled "How the new labelling system will help customers".]
"Regulations on homoeopathic remedies that come into force today have infuriated scientists and doctors. For the first time, homoeopathic treatment will be allowed to claim efficacy measured by their own methods, not by the much tougher standards applied to conventional medicines, and will be able to list on their labels what conditions they are supposed to treat." Nigel Hawkes and Mark Henderson, Timesonline (1st September 2006)
"Packaging on homeopathic products will be allowed to describe the illnesses they claim to be able to treat under a controversial licensing scheme introduced by the government today. The National Rules System is designed to bring homeopathic remedies into line with licensed medicines — but doctors and scientists say it will legitimise products that have no scientific evidence to support their claims." Alok Jha, science correspondent, The Guardian (1st September 2006)