To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they will take to ensure (a) that herbal practitioners can continue to use a full range of herbal remedies after the Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive (2004/24/EC) is fully implemented in April 2011, and (b) that such practitioners continue to enjoy protection under Article 15 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. [HL6019]
We are currently undertaking a consultation exercise on whether, and if so how, to regulate herbal practitioners. The consultation includes exploration of the link between the nature of such regulation and the possibility of regarding herbal practitioners as authorised healthcare professionals, within the terms of Article 5.1 of European directive 2001/83/EC. This is relevant to the feasibility of introducing a regulatory scheme under Article 5.1 permitting herbal practitioners in the United Kingdom to commission unlicensed herbal medicines manufactured by a third party to meet the special needs of individual patients. We will assess responses to this consultation before announcing proposals on the way forward. We will ensure that our proposals take account of the need to comply with Article 15 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.