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HMRC internal manual

Duty Free Spirits Guidance

Technical Guidance: What are homeopathic products?

Homeopathy is a system of therapeutics which was founded on the principle of “like cures like”. Its essential tenet was that the cure of the disease is effected by drugs that are capable of producing, in a healthy individual, symptoms similar to those of the disease to be treated. Most homeopathists believe in the action of minute doses of medicine. Alternatively, allopathy (conventional medicine) is the treating of a disease by inducing a condition different from its cause.

Council Directive 65/65/EEC which provides a definition for medicinal products (see DFS4030) was expanded by Council Directive 92/73/EEC to include homeopathic products.

Homeopathic medicines are required to be registered with the MHRA. If there is any doubt as to the medicinal benefit of a product you should contact ESM clarification.

The applicant should be able to demonstrate a medical benefit from the product. When considering a products eligibility, the labelling and how the product is held out for sale should be considered. For example, the product should be marketed as a medicine, not as a beverage.