BMJ 2005; 331 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.331.7528.1348 (Published 01 December 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:1348

Despite recent ruminations about whether the NHS should be funding homoeopathy, a study claiming to be the largest NHS trial of homoeopathic treatment makes a call for its use in chronic diseases. The authors followed over 6500 patients with chronic diseases for six years, and more than 70% reported positive changes in their health after taking homoeopathic remedies. To counter criticism that it only works because of the length of the consultation, the lead author points out that consultation times for this cohort were comparable with those offered by other NHS departments within the same hospital trust (Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 2005;11: 793-8).

Mathematical modelling shows that among communities at risk of malaria, just 20% of the population receive 80% of infectious mosquito bites, suggesting that antimalarial strategies should target those who get bitten most. The analysis of data collected from 90 African villages also shows that a single bout of malaria is not sufficient to confer permanent immunity; repeated infections in childhood are required (Nature2005;438: 492-5).

Marketing experts probably assume that combination pills would be more desirable than taking multiple tablets, but what do patients think? A qualitative study in 92 men and women who take drugs for hypertension and high cholesterol found …

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