Subj: NIH ANNOUNCES INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE STUDY OF COMPLEMENTARY AND AL TERNATIVE MEDICINE

Date: Monday, October 21, 2002 9:09:50 AM

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NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH

National Center for Complementary

and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)

http://nccam.nih.gov

 

NIH NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, October 21, 2002

 

Contact:

NCCAM Press Office

(301) 496-7790

 

NIH ANNOUNCES INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE STUDY OF COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and 16 Federal co-sponsors announce the launch of an Institute of Medicine (IOM) study of the scientific and policy implications of the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) by the American public. The $1 million, nearly 2-year study, will be conducted by the IOM, a component of the National Academies.

The National Academies is a private, nonprofit, non-governmental institution created by a congressional charter to be an advisory body for the nation on scientific and technological matters. The IOM draws upon volunteer panels of experts to examine policy matters regarding the publics health. NCCAM, the primary sponsor of the study, is the Federal Governments lead agency for scientific research on CAM.

The IOM will assemble a panel of approximately 16 experts from a broad range of CAM and conventional disciplines, such as behavioral medicine, internal medicine, nursing, epidemiology, pharmacology, health care research and administration, and education. During the course of the study, the IOM panel will assess research findings, hold workshops, and invite speakers to address the panel, among other activities, in order to:

        Provide a comprehensive overview of the use of CAM therapies by the American public;

        Identify significant scientific and policy issues related to CAM research, regulation, integration, training, and certification; and

        Develop a conceptual framework to help guide decision-making on these issues and questions.

 

The value of undertaking this study emerged from discussions among members of the Trans-Agency CAM Coordinating Committee, chaired by Stephen E. Straus, M.D., NCCAM Director. The Committee felt that the IOM had the expertise to critically consider questions of CAM research and policy.

Americans use CAM therapies in record numbers, said Dr. Straus. The IOMs report will give us a clearer understanding of the scope of CAM use by Americans, as well as CAMs public health impact, and scientific and policy issues that will better inform our research decisions.

The IOM study, led by Senior Program Officer Lyla M. Hernandez, MPH, of the Board on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, will not conduct new surveys of the public regarding CAM use. Rather, the IOM panel will gather and analyze existing data. In addition, the IOM study, which will recruit panel members after October 1, plans to address many key questions, such as:

        What are the methodological difficulties in evaluating some CAM therapies?

        How are the different CAM professions regulated in the United States?

        What is the current situation for coverage of CAM by insurers and other third parties?

        What are the policy and regulatory issues regarding licensing and certifying CAM practitioners?

 

The answers to these questions and the information generated by the IOM panel of leading scholars drawn from both conventional medicine and CAM, and from education, should serve to complement the recommendations of the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy released earlier this year.

The agencies that are co-sponsoring the IOM study include:

Agency for Health Care Research and Quality

John E. Fogarty International Center

National Cancer Institute

National Center for Complementary

and Alternative Medicine

National Center for Research Resources

National Institute on Aging

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

National Institute of Arthritis and

Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research

National Institute of Diabetes and

Digestive and Kidney Diseases

National Institute on Drug Abuse

National Institute of Mental Health

National Library of Medicine

NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research

NIH Office of Dietary Supplements

 

For information on the National Academies, visit

<http://www.nationalacademies.org>. For information on the Institute of Medicine, visit <http://www.iom.edu>.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is dedicated to exploring complementary and alternative medical (CAM) practices in the context of rigorous science, training CAM researchers, and disseminating authoritative information to the public and professionals. For additional information, call NCCAMs Clearinghouse toll free at 1-888-644-6226, or visit the NCCAM Web site at <http://nccam.nih.gov>.