Navigation Links
Americans Spend Billions on Alternative Medicine
Date:7/30/2009

Out-of-pocket spending hit $33.9 billion in 2007, government report shows,,

THURSDAY, July 30 (HealthDay News) -- Americans spent $33.9 billion out-of-pocket on complementary and alternative medicine in 2007 alone, U.S. health officials report.

CAM includes medical practices and products, such as herbal supplements, meditation, chiropractic and acupuncture, which are not part of conventional medicine.

"The bottom line is that Americans spend a lot of money on CAM products, classes or materials or practitioner visits," Dr. Josephine P. Briggs, director of the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, said during a morning teleconference Thursday.

The main reasons Americans turn to alternative medicine is for pain relief and to contribute to their health and well-being, Briggs added.

Briggs noted the survey was done to find out which areas of CAM warrant research by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. The survey was done without regard as to whether any of these alternative or complementary approaches actually work, she said.

In the United States, CAM accounts for 1.5 percent of all health-care costs in the United States, but 11.2 percent of all out-of-pocket costs. Total health-care spending in the United States totals $2.2 trillion and out-of-pocket costs for conventional medicine comprise $286.6 billion, according to the report.

In all, about 38 percent of adults use some type of CAM.

"Two-thirds of the money spent on CAM is spent on self-care therapies," report author Richard L. Nahin, acting director of the Division of Extramural Research at U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, said during the teleconference.

Self-care therapies are things you can do on your own without having to see a health-care provider, Nahin explained.

Out of the $33.9 billion spent out-of-pocket on CAM, about $22 billion went toward self-care costs. Most of the money ($14.8 billion) went to buy non-vitamin, non-mineral natural products such as fish oil, glucosamine and echinacea, according to the report. That's equivalent to about one-third of total out-of-pocket spending on prescription drugs, the researchers noted.

In addition, $11.9 billion went to some 354.2 million visits to CAM practitioners such as acupuncturists, chiropractors, massage therapists and homeopaths, which is about one-quarter of total out-of-pocket spending on physician visits.

Of the 20 conditions for which people use CAM, nine are associated with chronic pain, Nahin said.

"These data clearly show us that Americans use CAM to treat these conditions, often which are very hard to treat with regular medical approaches," he said.

The report used data from U.S. 2007 National Health Interview Survey.

The report was prepared by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics.

Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine and director of the Integrative Medicine Center at Griffin Hospital in Derby, Conn., said "this report lends support to the growing field of integrative medicine, which strives to blend conventional and complementary practices thoughtfully and in light of the available evidence."

"The data reported here indicate that CAM remains very popular and its use constitutes a major portion of total health-care utilization in the U.S.," Katz said. "This is important, as it suggests that many patients have needs or preferences not met by the prevailing practices of conventional medicine alone."

The data also suggest that patients are increasingly informed about the evidence base for alternative medicine practices, and are shifting toward those that are better-substantiated and that's a positive trend, Katz said.

"The persistent popularity of CAM despite the associated out-of-pocket costs attest to its important potential to address health-care needs otherwise unmet," Katz said. "Responsible use of science and responsiveness to the needs and preferences of patients need not be mutually exclusive."

"But there is the risk of using poorly regulated and unsubstantiated potions and practices more likely to harm than help," he added.

More information

For more information about CAM, visit the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.



SOURCES: July 30, 2009, teleconference with Josephine P. Briggs, M.D., director, and Richard L. Nahin, Ph.D., M.P.H., acting director, Division of Extramural Research, U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Bethesda, Md.; David L. Katz, M.D., M.P.H., director, Prevention Research Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn., and director, Integrative Medicine Center, Griffin Hospital, Derby, Conn.; July 30, 2009, report, Costs of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and Frequency of Visits to CAM Practitioners: United States, 2007


'/>"/>
Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Many Older Americans Have Active Sex Lives
2. Despite grumbling, most Americans say they are happy at work
3. Record Number of Americans Lack Health Insurance
4. AUDIO from Medialink and Pfizer: Number of Uninsured Americans Grows to 47 Million
5. New Survey Shows Americans are Still Concerned About Food Safety, Yet Still Not Smart About What They Like to Eat
6. Amid Improving Life Expectancy Rates, Risk of Premature Death is Still Significant for Americans, New Study Shows
7. AOA President Calls on Congress to Reauthorize SCHIP and Take Action to Ensure Health Care Coverage for All Americans
8. National Council on Disability Urges Congress to Support Americans with Disabilities Act Restoration
9. Few Americans Know of Leg Artery Danger
10. More Americans Urged to Get Flu Shots
11. Pelosi: Todays Sweeping, Bipartisan Legislation to Improve Drug Safety is a Victory for All Americans
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Americans Spend Billions on Alternative Medicine
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... In just ... EcoQube Frame vertical micro-veggies garden on Kickstarter . Surpassing the $100,000 milestone ... with nearly 2,000 consumers (and counting) already backing the campaign. , “We ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... On June ... ERISA Benefit Claims Litigation seminar in Chicago, Illinois. She will present on: ... of cases litigated under ERISA involve claims for long-term disability benefits. This ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... ... ) announced their partnership to prep patients for colonoscopy at the HyGIeaCare® Center ... in 87th Ave., Miami, FL. , The HyGIeaCare® Prep, cleared by ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... March 24, 2017 , ... “Finding Christ Through ... a devotional journal chronicling the writer’s path toward true communion with God. “Finding ... God #TruthwithGrace” is the creation of published author Lea Michelle Johnson, a follower ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... ... 2017 , ... “The Communion of Saints: A Pastor’s Potpourri ... congregations across the United States. “The Communion of Saints” is the creation ... served congregations in seven states throughout his long career of devotion to the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2017)... 2017 On Friday, benchmark US ... closed the trading session up 0.19%; the Dow Jones ... was down 0.08%. US markets made broad based gains ... in green. Pre-market today, Stock-Callers.com reviews these four Medical ... WMGI), Amedica Corporation (NASDAQ: AMDA), MiMedx Group Inc. (NASDAQ: ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... 2017  Impax Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ: IPXL)today announced that ... Bisaro as Impax,s President and Chief Executive Officer ... 27, 2017. Mr. Bisaro will succeed J. Kevin ... Chief Executive Officer since December of 2016. ... experience, Mr. Bisaro, 56, is an accomplished global business ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... 2017 Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... small molecule drugs across multiple therapeutic areas, today announced that ... will present a corporate update at the 16th Annual Needham ... conference will take place April 4-5, 2017 at the Westin ... , NY.  A live audio webcast of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: