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“When it comes to alternative medicine, the UK's regulator appears only to exist to legitimise quackery…The MHRA is charged with regulating medicines and medical devices. Their ’mission statement’ is
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is the government agency which is responsible for ensuring that medicines and medical devices work, and are acceptably safe.
This is all good. Except when it comes to superstitious and pseudoscientific forms of treatments, they casually drop the condition that providers should be able to demonstrate that they work. The result is that absurd and unproven medical treatments are able to compete on pharmacy shelves with products that have proven benefit. For consumers, it is difficult to tell that one product has an evidence base and the other is fantasy. The MHRA appear to adopt labelling policies that deliberately obscure the nature of homeopathic remedies and give ‘approval marks’ to unproven herbal remedies…A group of medics and researchers (all members of Healthwatch) have written to the BMJ [click on link above for full text of letter] …expressing their deepening concern that the MHRA are “clothing naked quackery and legitimising pseudoscience”. What has initiated this letter is the recent advertisement for ‘experts’ to sit on a Advisory Board to consider the registration of homeopathic products. The job specification calls for homeopaths who are “recognised by their peers as eminent members of their profession”. The problem is obvious. If you believe nonsense, how can you be an expert? As I have written recently, when the regulator believes in fairies, who protects the public?” Lecanardnoir, Quackometer blogspot (23rd September 2011)