Chemist + Druggist is part of Pharma Intelligence UK Limited

This is operated by Pharma Intelligence UK Limited, a company registered in England and Wales with company number 13787459 whose registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. The Pharma Intelligence group is owned by Caerus Topco S.à r.l. and all copyright resides with the group.

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use. Please do not redistribute without permission.

Printed By


'Homeopathy could be pharmacy's saviour from funding cuts'

Complementary medicine is a “large chunk of business that pharmacy is missing out on”, a community pharmacist has said.

Pharmacist at Wilkinson Chemist, Barnet, David Needleman said complementary medicine such as homeopathy, nutrition and aromatherapy could make smaller pharmacies “more viable and competitive”, as they look to “survive” the funding cuts across England.

In a letter sent to "all local pharmaceutical committees (LPCs)" – and seen by C+D – over the weekend, Mr Needleman said “we need to explore other ways of maintaining profitability. One of these is to enter profitable niche markets”.

"The difference between bankruptcy and survival"

Mr Needleman – who is also joint principal of The School of Complementary Medicine (TSOCM) – said he helped set up a homeopathic dispensary in a North London pharmacy while studying for his qualification in 1987.

“Within a year, the various homeopathic remedies, various other nutritional supplements and herbal medicines we stocked accounted for nearly 40% of the pharmacy’s turnover, with a considerably higher margin,” he told C+D this morning (June 14).

“This 40% turnover was the difference between bankruptcy and survival [of this pharmacy],” he added.

Training course

Mr Needleman and his colleague at TSOCM have designed a two-year “comprehensive complementary medicines” course for pharmacists and technicians, which will launch at the London School of Pharmacy in September.

“It is going to cover nutrition, homeopathy, herbal medicine, flower remedies, aromatherapy and Chinese medicines and will lead to a [certificate] for pharmacists to become registered with a professional body,” Mr Needleman said.

He said “it is early days” but “everyone I have spoken to has shown an interest” in the training. Mr Needleman is now looking to expand the offer to pharmacists across the country, “possibly Manchester next”.

Homeopathy under threat

Mr Needleman said he reacted with "sadness” to the news that some clinical commissioning groups (CCG) plan to scrap homeopathy funding.

“Homeopathy has been under a lot of threat and a lot of pressure for some considerable time,” he said.

"It is going to disenfranchise thousands of people who can't afford to pay," he claimed.

“When you think that between six and 10 million people a year use complementary medicines…it is rather a large chunk of business that pharmacies are missing out on.”

"There are only about six dedicated homeopathic pharmacies in the country, but there are a number of pharmacies that will dispense remedies and give advice," Mr Needleman said.

Anything that can take us away from NHS dispensing has got to be useful for the survival of community pharmacy,” he added.

You can see a full copy of Mr Needleman’s letter here.

*In its 'quick guide' to homeopathy, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) said it "does not endorse homeopathy as a form of treatment because there is no scientific basis for homeopathy nor any evidence to support the clinical efficacy of homeopathic products beyond a placebo effect".

Read C+D's feature on how pharmacists can decide which alternative treatments to stock – or whether to stock them at all – here.

Would you consider training to become a homeopath?

Related Content


Pharmacy Manager
Bournemouth, Dorset
£ Competitive

Apply Now
Latest News & Analysis
See All



Ask The Analyst

Please Note: You can also Click below Link for Ask the Analyst
Ask The Analyst

Thank you for submitting your question. We will respond to you within 2 business days. my@email.address.

All fields are required.

Please make sure all fields are completed.

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please make sure you have filled out all fields

Please enter a valid e-mail address

Please enter a valid Phone Number

Ask your question to our analysts