Navigation Links
FDA Seeks to Regulate Complementary and Alternative Medicine; Products Such as Vegetable Juice Could Be Restricted for Medical Use
Date:9/5/2007

Changes Would Cost Medicare System Billions

As Seniors Seek Conventional Treatments Instead

WASHINGTON, Sept. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is preparing new guidelines that threaten new, costly regulation of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM), used by 74.6 percent of adults at some point in their lives. The FDA guidance would define a product based on its "intended use." If vegetable juice were sold to satisfy thirst, for example, it would not be regulated, while if it were used to treat a medical condition (e.g. dehydration), it would be.

Under the guidelines, all items used for medicinal purposes -- including juices, lotions, vitamins and minerals -- could become more expensive and less available. As a result, millions of seniors may be forced to choose conventional treatments within the Medicare system instead of CAM paid for at their own expense, costing taxpayers unnecessary billions.

The FDA proposal, titled, "Draft Guidance for Industry on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Products and Their Regulation by the Food and Drug Administration," will represent the FDA's official thinking on this topic when finalized, but will not become regulatory policy. However, Congressional investigations frequently have found these types of guidance documents to be "intended to bypass the rulemaking process."

Complementary therapies might include aromatherapy to lessen a patient's discomfort during surgery; alternative therapies might include a special diet to treat cancer instead of chemotherapy. According to the National Institutes of Health, 74.6 percent of adults have used CAM at some point; a 2006 survey finds that close to two-thirds of adults over the age of 50 have used some form of CAM. The Centers for Disease Control estimated that the U.S. public spent between $36 billion and $47 billion on CAM therapies in 1997 alone.

"These changes mean that consumers will be less likely to be able to treat themselves without excessive government interference," said Shannon Benton, executive director of The Senior Citizens League. "Seniors who previously saved money by treating themselves with vitamins, lotions, or protein shakes may now need a prescription -- forcing them to bill Medicare for conventional medical treatments, costing the American taxpayer billions of dollars."

The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) filed comments with the FDA in May protesting the impending guidance. In its comments, TSCL wrote, "Currently, few CAM approaches are reimbursed by Medicare and are therefore paid out of pocket by the consumer. On the other hand, if vitamins and minerals were regulated as 'drugs,' Medicare might be required to pay for those same vitamins and minerals. Such a simple change in status for CAM theoretically could cost the Federal Government billions of dollars annually."

Medicare's trustees forecast that the Medicare trust fund will be exhausted by 2019. The FDA's new proposal risks bankrupting Medicare's trust funds even sooner.

"On behalf of its 1.2 million supporters, The Senior Citizens League is advocating for ways to ensure the long-term stability of Medicare," said Ralph McCutchen, chairman of The Senior Citizens League. "Not only does this secret plan threaten to bankrupt Medicare even sooner, but it takes choices away from seniors when they need them most."

With 1.2 million members, The Senior Citizens League is one of the nation's largest nonpartisan seniors groups. The Senior Citizens League is a proud affiliate of The Retired Enlisted Association. Visit http://www.SeniorsLeague.org for more information.


'/>"/>
SOURCE The Senior Citizens League
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Consumer group seeks Sibutramine ban
2. Gujarat Seeks To Scale Down Infant Mortality Rate
3. Europe Seeks Indian Expertise
4. Book Seeks To Rehabilitate Soldiers
5. Government Seeks To Wipe Out Prostitution
6. Multiple Sclerosis Patient Seeks Help of Stem Cells
7. Pro-reservation body seeks removal of AIIMS Director
8. AIIMS Doctors Seeks Ramadoss Intervention For Venugopal’s Remova
9. Human Chain Seeks AIIMS Status For Tiruchi Medical College
10. Harney Seeks Approval for New Medical Practitioners Bill
11. Drug Company Seeks Approval for Human Testing of Vaccine against H5N1 Virus
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/30/2016)... ... 30, 2016 , ... “Aging well is a challenge for all of us, but there are things we can ... Kohli . “Research is showing more and more that there are simple, yet important steps ... as we age.” Top priorities Dr. Kohli’s recommends for her patients include;, , ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... 29, 2016 , ... Since launching its annual volunteer campaign ... the footwear industry, has broken all previous participation records in its first two ... states during the months of April and May, the 2016 Footwear Cares initiative ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... our nation’s productivity, stability, even security. Most importantly, employees are the single most ... why are American workers so unhappy? , Just under half of American workers ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... , ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... reveals that infants born with severe congenital diaphragmatic hernia have better survival rates ... with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH)—a condition where the diaphragm fails to form completely, ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... The Gluten-Free ... is pleased to announce the launch of the GFCP Scoop in ... more. The purpose of the GFCP Scoop site is to keep ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... , April 27, 2016  Bayer Animal Health ... senior from the University of Florida College of ... Bayer Excellence in Communication Award (BECA). Brittany was ... were awarded a total of $70,000 in scholarship ... four years, Bayer has provided a total of ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... 27, 2016 Global  urinalysis ... billion by 2022, according to a new report ... (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150105/723757 ) , ... efficiency and accuracy delivered by the new generation ... novel urinalysis instruments and consumables. For instance, the ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: HRC ) ... Deutsche Bank 41 st Annual Health Care Conference on ... You are invited to listen to the live discussion via ... directly at http://edge.media-server.com/m/p/mr4uxgas . A recorded replay of the ... live event and accessible at the links above until August ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: