Herbal Medicines Advisory Committee

The committee advises on the safety and quality of herbal medicines when there's an application for registration, marketing authorisation or product licence.

Role of the committee

The Herbal Medicines Advisory Committee’s (HMAC) terms of reference are to:

  • a) To give advice on safety and quality in relation to any homeopathic medicinal product for human use, in respect of which a certificate of registration has been granted or applied for.
  • b) To give advice on safety, quality and indications for use within the UK homeopathic tradition in relation to any homeopathic medicinal product for human use,
    • i) in respect of which a marketing authorisation has been granted or has been applied for, or
    • ii) in respect of which a licence of right has been granted.

The role of the committee will concern primarily issues relating to safety and quality, since there is not a requirement for efficacy to be separately demonstrated in relation to registered traditional herbal medicines or unlicensed products sold under Section 12 of the Medicines Act.

However, efficacy is still relevant - under the traditional herbal registration scheme, the pharmacological effects or efficacy of the medicinal product must be plausible on the basis of longstanding use and experience.

See guidance notes to companies on hearings and written representations to the HMAC (PDF, 49.5KB, 10 pages) .


The members of the committee are:


Professor Philip A Routledge OBE CBE MD FRCP FRCPE FBTS FRSB FAcadMEd FRCGP(Hon) FFPM(Hon) HonFBPhS FLSW Consultant Physician/Clinical Pharmacologist in Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and Professor Emeritus of Clinical Pharmacology, Cardiff University


Dr Robert C G Bracchi BSc MB BCh MD FRCGP
Retired General Practitioner

Dr Paul D Bremner PhD BSc MBA SFHEA
Senior Lecturer, De Montfort University

Ms Alison M Denham MA FNIMH FHEA
Herbal Practitioner and Senior Lecturer in Herbal Medicine, University of Central Lancashire, Preston

Dr Shantha B W Godagama DAMS MBAcC MF (hom) MAcF FAMA (UK)
Ayurvedic physician, Qualified Acupuncturist, Founder of Ayurvedic Medical Association U.K., College of Ayurveda, Author of Hand Book of Ayurveda, Director of the Ayurvedic Centre, Hale Clinic, London.

Professor Michael Heinrich MA MSc PhD
Professor and Head of Centre, UCL School of Pharmacy, University of London

Dr Barbara A Pendry PhD BSc (Hons) PGCE MNIMH
Principal Lecturer, Herbal Practitioner and Programme Leader for Herbal Medicine at the University of East London

Professor Raymond J Playford MB BS PhD FRCP FAcadMedSci
Professor of Medicine, Plymouth University & Hon Consultant, Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

Dr Deborah J Shaw BSc (Hons) PhD
Independent Consultant on Herbal Safety and Pharmacovigilance

Dr David Tuthill MB BCh FRCPCH
Consultant Paediatrician, Children’s Hospital for Wales, Cardiff

Professor Heather M Wallace PhD FRCPath FRSC FSB FBPharmacolS FBTS
European Registered Toxicologist
Professor of Biochemical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Division of Applied Medicine, University of Aberdeen

Dr Jidong Wu MB MSc PhD MATCM
Senior Lecturer and Programme Advisor in Traditional Chinese Medicine at Middlesex University

Dr Kaicun Zhao MB MSc PhD
Programme Leader, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Department of Mental Health, Social Work and Integrative Medicine, Middlesex University London

Summary minutes

See the final summary minutes for HMAC from 2014, which you can download.

For previous minutes, see the HMAC page on the archived MHRA website

Annual report

HMAC annual report

Contact the expert committee support team

Telephone: 020 3080 6000 Email: info@mhra.gov.uk