The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) has dropped charges against pharmacies who advised patients to use homeopathic remedies to protect themselves from malaria instead of anti-malarial drugs.

Charges were bought onto pharmacies following an investigation by BBC Newsnight and campaigning group Sense about Science in 2006.

The investigation revealed that homeopathic pharmacies were recommending pills with no active ingredients instead of approved drugs and vaccinations for travellers to countries with malaria.

Sense about Science director Tracey Brown condemned the decision, stating that “we may as well have no regulation of pharmacists at all”. UK government chief scientist Sir John Beddington added: “There is no scientific evidence to indicate that homeopathic remedies are efficacious.”

The GPhC noted that it had dropped the charges, accepting that Ainsworths pharmacy would take remedial action to prevent cases reoccurring, and that the allegations fell “below the current threshold criteria for referral to the investigating committee”.

However, it refused to rule out any further action, informing the BBC that information gathered as part of recent investigations would be used if any further complaints about the pharmacy professional are received.