The infrastructure for research in traditional medicine is significantly less developed than that for conventional medicine. However, there is now an increasing demand that the safety and efficacy of traditional medicine be determined, so that it can be considered by the public. In the development of traditional medicine, it is important that support be given to the establishment of appropriate infrastructure within the academic and other institutions of traditional medicine.
Other pragmatic issues that require consideration include funding, facilities, and involvement of properly trained research personnel and traditional medical practitioners.
Clinical research must be carried out under conditions which ensure adequate safety for the subjects. The institution selected must have adequate facilities, including laboratories and equipment, where necessary, and sufficient clerical, medical and allied health workers to support the study as required. Facilities should be available to meet any emergencies.
If a multicentre study is necessary, this may require a special administrative system to ensure that the study is conducted simultaneously and adequately at different sites by several investigators following the same protocol. It will be necessary to train investigators from different sites to follow the same protocol, and to standardize methods of patient selection, termination of patient participation, administration, and data collection and evaluation. Appropriate consultation about the statistical analysis is necessary during the planning, execution and assessment phases to ensure methodological consistency.