To: Dr Dan Poulter, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health
Save the practice of herbal medicine in the UK
Dear Minister, please implement as soon as possible the Secretary of State's pledge made in February 2011 to provide statutory regulation for UK herbal practitioners via the Health and Care Professions Council.
Why is this important?
Without statutory regulation (SR) of herbalists patient choice and safety are at risk. As a result of recent changes to European Medicines law, herbalists must be authorized health professionals (by being statutorily regulated) to continue supplying a range of herbal medicines that have been in use for decades. Now, because of the delay in granting SR, many patients are now without the herbs that they have come to rely on. This is driving some people to purchase herbal medicines from unsafe internet herbal sites without advice from a qualified practitioner.
SR will enable the public to consult properly trained practitioners rather than back-street traders.
Without SR well-regulated degree level courses are under threat as the future of herbal medicine is uncertain.
The loss of a wide range of herbal medicines means many practitioners are struggling to maintain their livelihoods or have been forced to stop practising. In addition, many herbal suppliers are being driven out of business or are making staff redundant.
Why the delay? There is no adequate explanation.
A promise is a promise! Grant herbalists SR now!