This is the December 2015 update from the Good Thinking Society
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Monthly Newsletter

December 2015

Welcome to our regular monthly update on our projects and progress, designed to give our supporters an insight into some of the things we're working on and how you might be able to help. Please share it with anyone you think might be interested in hearing more about Good Thinking's work. 

Our campaign to have homeopathic remedies blacklisted

Over the last eighteen months, our NHS homeopathy campaign has sought to identify and challenge NHS spending on homeopathic remedies. With limited resources available to the NHS, we feel it’s crucially important that patients have access to the best treatments, which means ensuring money is not wasted on treatments that are neither effective nor effective. Homeopathic treatments clearly fit into this category.

As well as challenging individual CCGs over their funding for homeopathic remedies, we've been exploring alternate routes by which public spending on homeopathic treatments could be challenged, including having the remedies added to Schedule 1 of the National Health Service (General Medical Services Contracts) (Prescription of Drugs etc.) Regulations 2004 - aka the "Blacklist".

The Blacklist, which is maintained by the Department of Health, is used to signify products that cannot be reimbursed at a pharmacy using NHS funds, effectively preventing the products from being prescribed by GPs. Products can be added to the Blacklist for a range of reasons, including a lack of evidence of clinical efficacy, a lack of cost-effectiveness, the availability and low-cost of the product over the counter, and the availability of cheaper alternatives. By our estimation, homeopathic products meet all four of these criteria, and therefore must be added to the Blacklist.

Image from the past year we have been in a lengthy correspondence with the Department of Health to call for homeopathic products to be added to the Blacklist, and in June we prepared to take their decision to reject our recommendations to a Judicial Review. Fortunately, at the start of November the Department of Health confirmed to us that they would be conducting a consultation in 2016 on the subject of blacklisting homeopathy, and that we would be invited to be part of that consultation.

The consultation constitutes a significant milestone in our challenge to the NHS funding of homeopathy.

Read the full report on our NHS Homeoapthy Blacklisting project >>
As a registered charity, we rely on your support to continue our work. You can support Good Thinking by making a small monthly donation, or a one-off donation.

If you've seen something you'd like us to investigate, or if you'd like our advice on an issue you're facing or an activist idea you're working on, 
please get in touch.
In other Good Thinking news this month:
Media coverage of our NHS homeopathy Blacklisting news
Media coverage of our NHS homeopathy Blacklisting news 
The developments in our Blacklisting project made a significant impact in the national news, with live appearances on BBC 4's Today, BBC 2's Victoria Derbyshire show, BBC Breakfast, BBC Five Live, and the majority of the national newspapers. This coverage helps keep pressure on the government to conduct the consultation thoroughly.
Good Thinking Media Coverage >>
Homeopathy Campaign Coverage in the Express and Observer
Edzard Ernst and Susan Jebb share the 2015 John Maddox Prize for Standing up for Science
Professors Ernst and Jebb were awarded the prize for their long commitment to scientific research into the fields of alternative medicine and diet respectively, in the face significant personal attacks. Professor Ernst, part of the advisory board for the Good Thinking Society, kindly donated his prize money to Good Thinking.
Make a donation today >>
NHS Liverpool CCG consultation on ending homeopathy funding
NHS Liverpool CCG consultation on ending homeopathy funding
As a result of our legal challenge in June, NHS Liverpool CCG agreed to review their funding of homeopathy. The consultation is now open to the public, with the CCG expressing their desire to bring an end to homeopathy funding. It takes 5 minutes to share your views, and even the views of non-Liverpool residents will be listened to.
Take the survey >>
Michael Marshall to speak for CFI UK in London: "Follow the Formula: the fake science behind real headlines"
Michael Marshall to speak for CFI UK in London: "Follow the Formula: the fake science behind real headlines"
On December 12th, our Project Director Michael Marshall will be speaking at CFI UK's Science in the Media day in Conway Hall, London. Marsh will be presenting a new talk demonstrating how the PR industry often dresses up PR stories with the trappings of science in order to sell to the public, and the detrimental effect this can have.
Event details and tickets >>
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