NICE says no to cancer drugs... but yes to tai chi

By DANIEL MARTIN FOR THE DAILY MAIL

NHS watchdog spends millions a year on unproven 'crank' therapies

The NHS is spending millions of pounds a year on unproven ‘crank’ therapies while denying drugs to cancer and dementia sufferers.

The rationing body NICE has approved a raft of alternative treatments including hypnotherapy for irritable bowel syndrome and acupuncture for headaches – despite turning down proven medicines available in Europe.

Women can get free electrical stimulation therapy if they suffer from urinary incontinence and mothers-to-be with morning sickness can be prescribed ginger on the NHS.

Other alternative treatments available include magnetic field therapy and tai chi for multiple sclerosis, and aromatherapy for dementia.

Prince Charles has met health secretaries several times to discuss his enthusiasm for ‘integrated medicine’. But a leading academic has estimated that only about 5 per cent of alternative treatments are supported by scientific evidence.

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