- Medicine Information and Evidence for Policy > Medicines Policy
- Traditional Medicine > Traditional, Complementary and Herbal Medicine
(2002; 70 pages) [French] [Spanish]
Widespread and growing use
TM is widely used and of rapidly growing health system and economic importance. In Africa up to 80% of the population uses TM to help meet their health care needs. In Asia and Latin America, populations continue to use TM as a result of historical circumstances and cultural beliefs. In China, TM accounts for around 40% of all health care delivered.
Meanwhile, in many developed countries, CAM is becoming more and more popular. The percentage of the population which has used CAM at least once is 48% in Australia, 70% in Canada, 42% in USA, 38% in Belgium and 75% in France.
In many parts of the world expenditure on TM/CAM is not only significant, but growing rapidly. In Malaysia, an estimated US$ 500 million is spent annually on this type of health care, compared to about US$ 300 million on allopathic medicine. In the USA, total 1997 out-of-pocket CAM expenditure was estimated at US$ 2700 million. In Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, annual CAM expenditure is estimated at US$ 80 million, US$ 2400 million and US$ 2300 million respectively.