'France’s state health system will cease reimbursing homeopathic treatment from 2021, the government has announced, in a bombshell to the alternative medicine industry.
The decision followed a damning report on homeopathy by the national health authority published in June, which concluded that there was not enough hard proof homeopathy worked.
Homeopathic treatments are highly popular in France and is on sale on all pharmacies while doctors often prescribe them in addition to conventional treatments.
The move comes two years after NHS England issued guidance instructing doctors not to hand out prescriptions for homeopathic treatments, which chief executive Simon Stevens described as “at best a placebo” and “a misuse of scarce NHS funds”.
Agnes Buzyn, health minister and a highly respected former doctor herself, said French social security reimbursement to patients for homeopathic products, which currently stand at 30 per cent - will be cut to 15 per cent in 2020 and then to phased out to zero in 2021.
"I have decided to start the process for complete non-reimbursement," Ms Buzyn told Le Parisien newspaper.
The transition period would enable patients and pharmaceutical companies to adapt to the new system, she insisted.
Late June, France’s National Authority for Health (HAS) baldy stated in an explosive report that homoeopathy had "not scientifically demonstrated sufficient effectiveness to justify a reimbursement”.
Ms Buzyn said the government move, which was reportedly given the green light by President Emmanuel Macron himself, came despite intense “pressure” from industrial lobbies and many French to continue reimbursing such treatment.
More than a million people have signed a petition against the changes.'
Read more: France to stop refunding homeopathy, deemed a ‘placebo'
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