Intended for healthcare professionals


Civil servants suppress evidence on homeopathy on NHS website after lobbying from prince’s charity

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 18 February 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f1071
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

The way in which lobby groups and powerful people can influence government has come to light after an article on homeopathy on the public information website NHS Choices was stripped of all evidence questioning its effectiveness as a result of intervention by a charity set up by the Prince of Wales.

The Department of Health commissions the NHS Choices website from the private information company Capita to provide “objective and trustworthy information” to help patients make decisions about their health and treatment.

But evidence obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by David Colquhoun, emeritus professor of pharmacology at University College London and a fellow of the Royal Society, indicates that the health department can edit the content if it contradicts its own policies, even if that content is based on evidence.

Emails obtained from NHS Choices by Colquhoun show that …

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