Confessions of a Quackbuster

This blog deals with healthcare consumer protection, and is therefore about quackery, healthfraud, chiropractic, and other forms of so-Called "Alternative" Medicine (sCAM).

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Research on Alternative Therapies Is Sought

Research on Alternative Therapies Is Sought

January 13, 2005

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 (Reuters) - More research is needed to
show that alternative therapies like acupuncture and herbal
supplements work, and this may mean changing laws that
protect the industry, a committee of experts said

Nearly a third of Americans use such therapies, and it is
increasingly important to standardize those treatments and
show whether and how they work, the Institute of Medicine
committee said.

It urged Congress and regulators to work with industry,
researchers, consumers and advocates to find a way to test
alternative approaches.

"The main message is that complementary and alternative
therapy use is widespread and here to stay," Dr. David
Eisenberg, an expert in complementary and integrative
medical therapies at Harvard Medical School, said in an
interview. "The same rules of evidence of effectiveness and
safety should apply regardless of the origin of the

The Institute of Medicine, an independent group that
advises the government on health, was asked to identify
barriers to better research on complementary and
alternative therapies.

The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act says
supplements can be regulated as foods rather than drugs.
This lets makers not be responsible for safety and efficacy