January 30, 2011

Hundreds of herbal medicines to be banned in UK next year

As new European regulations come into force, hundreds of herbal medicines, except for a small number of popular products for 'mild' illness, will be banned from being sold in Britain next year.

With just four months to go before the ban is put in place, thousands of patients are set to lose access to herbal remedies that have been used in the UK for years, reports the Daily Mail.

From May 1 2011, traditional herbal products need to be licensed or prescribed by a registered herbal practitioner to comply with an EU directive. The directive was introduced due to rising concerns over adverse effects caused by many alternative medicines.

This means almost 2,500 qualified UK herbalists and Chinese medicine practitioners will lose the right to supply a wide range of herbal medicines, because they are not signed up to the statutory regulation scheme.

Herbal practitioners have said that the cost of obtaining licenses was beyond their means.

Many traditional medicines are made up of a number of herbs and the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) estimates the cost of obtaining a license at 100,000 pounds per herb.

According to ANH, no Chinese or ayurvedic medicine has been licensed.

But herbal practitioners have warned that patients may end up buying potentially dangerous supplies from the black market.

Link: Original Article

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