asked the Secretary of State for Social Services haw many of the 36,000 medicinal products which have been given a licence of right are herbal or homeopathic remedies.
Of the 36,000 products some 4,000 are products in homeopathic dilutions. In some cases different strengths or formulations of a particular substance are counted as a single product. It is not possible to determine from our records exactly how many of the products are herbal remedies within the meaning of the Medicines Act—that is, products all the active ingredients of which are derived from plants. At least 7,500 contain predominantly herbal ingredients.
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services in what respect the procedure for review of licences of right for herbal or homeopathic remedies will differ from the procedure proposed for reviewing orthodox medicines.
A final decision on this will not be made until Ministers have learnt the views of the Committee on Review of Medicines, which will be appointed shortly. At present it is envisaged that all medicines will be assigned to categories according to the indications for which they are promoted and that these will be considered in turn. Homeopathic and herbal products recommended for specific indications will be considered with the appropriate category, although homeopathic products will probably be considered as a separate subclass within each category. A number of products containing substances in homeopathic dilutions are not promoted for any specific indications; these will be considered as a separate category at a later stage. In considering any particular product the circumstances in which it is likely to be used will be borne in mind, and the opinions of experts on herbal or homeopathic medicine will be taken into account where appropriate.