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FDA to take tougher stance on homeopathic regulations

LONDON - AUGUST 26: Vials containg pills for homeopathic remedies are displayed at Ainsworths Pharmacy on August 26, 2005 in London. British medical journal The Lancet has attacked the use of homeopathic treatments saying that doctors should be honest about homeopathy's lack of benefit. A joint UK/Swiss survey of 110 trials found no convincing evidence that homeopathy worked any better than a placebo. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON – The Food and Drug Administration announced that it plans to take a tougher stance in regulating homeopathic drugs.

Although the agency has always been able to regulate homeopathic products, it has rarely done so.

However, officials say that will change after receiving hundreds of complaints linked to homeopathic drugs that are unproven and potentially harmful.

“Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed a new, risk-based enforcement approach to drug products labeled as homeopathic,” the agency said.

According to NBC News, the agency will start by targeting products that are sold for serious conditions but do not actually provide results.

It will also focus on products meant for children and those containing potentially harmful ingredients.

“It also covers situations where products labeled as homeopathic contain potentially harmful ingredients or do not meet good manufacturing practices,” the FDA said.

Within the past year, the agency says it has received hundreds of reports of side effects and 10 deaths linked to homeopathic drugs.

The FDA will open its proposal to public comments for 90 days before issuing its final policy.