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Complementary Medicine

Volume 497: debated on Wednesday 14 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will commission a study in England with equivalent terms of reference to the Get Well UK pilot study of use of complementary and alternative medicine carried out with Government funding in Northern Ireland in 2007-08; what assessment he has made of the cost effectiveness of allowing GPs to refer patients to complementary and alternative health practitioners; and if he will make a statement. (289640)

The Department is currently considering the findings of the complementary and alternative medicine pilot study which took place in Northern Ireland. It is for local practitioners to decide whether to refer patients for specific therapies. One factor that they will wish to take account of is clinical and cost-effectiveness. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence is responsible for assessing clinical and cost-effectiveness and can look at this in relation to specific complementary and alternative therapies, which have an evidence base, in the context of specific clinical guidelines.