A Brighton MP has spoken out about proposals to regulate herbal medicine after being lobbied by constituents.
Simon Kirby, the Conservative MP for Brighton Kemptown, said: “Many constituents have written to me about this issue.
“I understand the uncertainty that proposals regarding this area of medicine are causing the alternative therapy profession.
“I wanted to set out the current position for those interested in this area of policy.
“As a starting point, the directive regarding regulation of practitioners was implemented in the United Kingdom in October 2005.
“The directive takes full effect when the transitional period for compliance expires on 30 April 2011.
“The directive will make the use of unlicensed manufactured herbal medicines bought in from third party suppliers illegal after that date and lends urgency to the need to make a decision on practitioner regulation.
“The effect of the directive in the UK is to bring a sector that was previously largely unregulated into systematic medicines regulation.
“There is a derogation in the legislation which would allow this practice to continue, provided that practitioners commissioning these products are ‘authorised healthcare practitioners’.
“The then government consulted in 2009 on whether, and if so how, to regulate practitioners of acupuncture, herbal medicine and traditional Chinese medicine.
“The results of the consultation are being considered in light of the government’s overall strategy on the regulation of health care professions and I understand a report will be published shortly.”