The BHA applied for a judicial review in October 2017 after NHS England announced it would scrap 18 “ineffective, unsafe or low clinical treatments” from prescriptions – including homeopathy – to save “up to £141 million a year”.
In a blog post last month (May 6), the BHA said its application to overturn the commissioner’s decision was based on the view that NHS England's public consultation on scrapping certain treatments from prescription “was fundamentally flawed” as the commissioner “failed to properly consult on its proposal to ban prescriptions for homeopathic medicine”.
Handing down his judgment yesterday (June 5), Mr Justice Supperstone said: “I am satisfied that NHS England consulted at a time when proposals were still at a formative stage.
“There is no evidence of bias or predetermination on NHS England’s part.”
Justice Supperstone concluded that while “arguable”, “none of grounds” of the BHA's challenge were “made out” and “accordingly” dismissed it.
NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said the High Court’s “clear cut” decision was “strongly welcome”.
“There is no robust evidence to support homeopathy, which is at best a placebo and a misuse of scarce NHS funding,” Mr Stevens said.
BHA responds to decision
In a post on the BHA’s website, the association described the judge's decision as a “disappointment”.
“It is important to remember that the real losers in this case are the patients who are now being refused a treatment on which they have come to depend,” BHA chair Margaret Wyllie said.