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Herbal medicines must prove safety

Published on 10/11/05 at 10:23am

The marketing of herbal medicines will now face stricter regulation across the European Union following the introduction of new legislation. The Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products Directive is meant to increase public confidence in herbal medicines, with companies now obliged to register their products and prove their safety and quality - although efficacy will not be measured.

The MHRA says responsible companies which have followed high standards have been at a commercial disadvantage to unscrupulous operators, and says there is an international trade in low grade and sometimes unsafe herbal medicines.  

Earlier this year UK group The Patients Association called for all GPs to give patients the choice of complementary medicines that have been proven to work, although support for the treatments varies greatly between doctors.

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