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The FDA proposal, titled, "Draft Guidance for Industry on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Products and Their Regulation by the Food and Drug Administration," will represent the FDA's official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:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those who have experienced ... feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol abuse, as a ... has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone to ... , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If there ... my other children and say he was going to kill them. If we were ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced ... attorneys chosen by their peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 ... received special honors as members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort ... the American Cancer Society and the Road To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients ... seniors and other adults to ensure the highest quality of life and ongoing independence. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Plano, TX (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... taking part in Genome magazine’s Code Talker Award, an essay contest in which patients ... for an award to be presented at the 2016 National Society of Genetic Counselors ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... RIDGE, Ill. and INDIANAPOLIS ... of students receiving a Lilly Diabetes Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship ... The 2016 scholarship winners, announced today online at ... to let type 1 diabetes stand in the way ... Diabetes has supported the Foundation,s scholarship program since 2012, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Revolutionary technology includes multi-speaker listening to conquer ... in advanced audiology and hearing aid technology, has today ... world,s first internet connected hearing aid that opens up ...      (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160622/382240 ) , ... , TwinLink™ - the first dual communication ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- The vast majority of dialysis patients currently receive ... usually 3 times a week, with treatment times averaging ... equipment preparation and wait time.  This regimen can be ... who are elderly and frail.  Many elderly dialysis patients ... for some duration of time. Residents in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: