Prescribing Advice for GPs

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ASA censures the Society of Homeopaths

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has censured the Society of Homeopaths following a large number of complaints about claims relating to homeopathy that appeared on a number of websites including social media site like Twitter. This has also been reported in the British Medical Journal.

The remit of the ASA was extended in 2011 to cover online material. The ASA investigated the acceptability of the type of claims being made for homeopathy. They concluded that the adverts or information might discourage essential treatment for conditions for which medical supervision should be sought and that the information presented was misleading and could not be sufficiently substantiated.

The ASA have advised the Society of Homeopaths "not to discourage essential treatment for conditions for which medical supervision should be sought, including offering specific advice on or treatment for such conditions" and "not to make health claims for homeopathy unless they held sufficiently robust evidence of efficacy".

Action: Clinicians may wish to consider reporting misleading claims like these to the ASA for investigation.

Thanks to Kevin Ashworth for spotting this article

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