Keywords: complementary medicine, alternative medicine, CAM, regulation, safety, effectiveness, healthcare, UK, United Kingdom
The future of traditional medicine
With the increasing demand for various forms of traditional medicine, here considered under the umbrella term of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), to be available as part of mainstream healthcare, the WHO has formulated a strategy to assist member states in facilitating integration. Notwithstanding problems with defining CAM in the first instance, there are major issues of safety, effectiveness and cost along with how to select, deliver and regulate such a diversity of therapies. The situation in the UK is reviewed in this paper to illustrate areas of commonality and tension between CAM and conventional medicine.