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The FDA proposal, titled, "Draft Guidance for Industry on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Products and Their Regulation by the Food and Drug Administration," will represent the FDA's official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:12/2/2016)... OH (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... of veterinarian diagnostic imaging systems and the first company to offer ... With a Heart at their tradeshow booth # 941 for the American Association ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, at The House of Yahweh in ... fits into Bible Prophecy. Yisrayl says this generation, known as the Last Generation, started ... how the details line up exactly with Bible Prophecy – a protected way for ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... On ... individuals and families from eight different sites throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties. This ... volunteers worked very hard on Thanksgiving morning by putting together individual meals via ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... 2016 , ... ‘Tis the season for giving! Today, 20 creative teams across ... Partnership and the Drug Enforcement Administration as part of the National Red Ribbon Week ... schools who decorated their campuses with this year’s Red Ribbon Week theme: “YOLO. Be ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... November 30, 2016 , ... "I hate when the mixture of saliva ... teeth," said an inventor from Bridgewater, N.J. "I thought that there had to be ... , He developed the patent-pending DEFLECTOR to prevent saliva and toothpaste from running down ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... , December 2, 2016 ... Vitro Diagnostics/IVD Market by Product (Instruments, Reagents, Software), ... (Diabetes, Oncology, Cardiology, Nephrology, Infectious Diseases) - Forecast ... is valued at USD 60.22 Billion in 2016. ... CAGR of 5.5% during the forecast period (2016-2021) ...
(Date:12/2/2016)...  PipelineRx, a leading medication management technology company ... of its SaaS-based telepharmacy platform, PowerGridRx™ , ... Midyear Clinical Meeting and Exhibition, December 5-7 in ... 300 hospital clients nationally, the Company is a ... dramatically improve pharmacy operations, enhance patient safety, and ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... -- On Thursday, December 1st 2016, the ... development and innovation in the biopharmaceutical industry at its ... the presence of Sergey Tsyb, Vice Minister of Industry ... , Natalia Sanina, First Vice Chairman of the State ... Roszdravnadzor, National Service of Control in Healthcare, Sergey Muravev, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: