Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Homoeopathy debate

Author’s reply to the minister

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 02 February 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c640
  1. David Colquhoun, research professor1
  1. 1Department of Pharmacology, University College London, London WC1E 6BT
  1. d.colquhoun{at}

    I think the minister1 is wrong in two ways, one relatively trivial but one very important.

    Firstly, he is wrong to refer to homoeopathy as controversial. It is not. It is quite the daftest of the common forms of magic medicine and essentially no informed person believes a word of it. Of course, as minister, he is free to ignore scientific advice. But he should admit that that is what he is doing, and not hide behind the (imagined) controversy.

    Secondly, and far more importantly, he is wrong to say I was mistaken to claim that “you cannot start to think about a sensible form of regulation unless you first decide whether or not the thing you are trying to …

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