Moderators: Dr Dequan Ren, China, and Dr Konstantin Keller, Germany
The past two decades have seen a worldwide upsurge in the use of traditional medicine (TM) and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in both developed and developing countries. In Africa, up to 80% of the population in rural areas depend on traditional medicine to meet their primary health care needs, while in India the corresponding figure is 65%.The percentage of the population that has used TM or CAM at least once in the past 10 years is 42% in the USA, 48% in Australia, 49% in France and 70% in Canada.
With such widespread use, the development of national policies and regulations on TM/CAM has become an important concern for both health authorities and the public. There is a need for regulations that ensure the safety of TM/CAM therapies and products, promote recognition of these systems and modalities, and further define their role in modern health care systems.