A TM/CAM information centre can be a useful way of facilitating the dissemination of reliable information. Such a centre can be separate or part of an independent national research institute, either within an existing health or drug information centre. Public hospitals and primary health care centres can also serve as local TM/CAM information centres, possibly working under the supervision of a national centre. The staff at a TM/CAM information centre should include TM/CAM representatives, preferably designated by national health authorities.
A TM/CAM information centre can provide consumers, the media, health care providers and others with guidance on TM/CAM issues including:
• National regulations and registrations involving TM/CAM;
• Contact details of relevant TM/CAM professional organizations (e.g. a free local directory);
• Lists of TM/CAM therapies covered by national or private health insurance;
• Locally appropriate information regarding the safety, quality and efficacy of different TM/CAM therapies (House of Lords, 2000);
• Systems for reporting benefits as well as suspected adverse events or interactions.