Fitness to practise cases relating to homeopathic medicinal products

The General Pharmaceutical Council takes seriously poor practice in relation to the supply of homeopathic medicinal products and provision of information and advice. In the cases referred to in recent media coverage, detailed investigation was carried out following receipt of the complaints in 2006 under the auspices of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (who had responsibility at that time for regulation), with input, including visit/s, from one of the society’s inspectors. In all three cases remedial action was taken. In the cases referred to we considered, using our just disposal policy, whether the individuals’ fitness for registration is currently impaired such that it ought to be removed or restricted.

Points the registrar took into account before making a decision included: whether the registrant had demonstrated insight; if remedial action had been taken; and whether there was any current risk to patients.

There are issues of principle in relation to pharmacists’ supply of homeopathic products. However, we do not believe that pursuing these particular cases further would establish or clarify any significant points of general principle.

Although the cases are now closed, the information gathered as part of the investigation including the original complaint may be taken into account if we receive any further complaints about the pharmacy professional in the future. In addition we have the power to investigate failure to adhere to remedial action previously undertaken in these cases.