The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Evidence-based practice in CAM

    CAMIn practice, evidence-based medicine means integrating individual expertise with the best available scientific research.

    Prof. Ernst thinks evidence-based practice is “essential for any form of health care.” But how many professional CAM societies incorporate it in their codes of ethics?

    First, the details.

    • Codes of ethics from the following organizations were reviewed.
      • Association of Naturopathic Practitioners
      • Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine (UK)
      • Ayurvedic Practitioners Association
      • British Acupuncture Council
      • Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council
      • European Herbal Practitioners Association
      • General Chiropractic Council
      • General Osteopathic Council
      • General Regulatory Council for Complementary Therapies
      • National Institute of Medical Herbalists
      • Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine
      • Society of Homeopaths
      • UK Healers
      • Unified Register of Herbal Practitioners

    The statements referring to evidence-based practice were compared with the respective codes of British doctors and nurses.

    And, the results.

    • Only the General Chiropractic Council, the General Osteopathic Council and the General Regulatory Council for Complementary Therapies oblige their members to adopt evidence-based practice.

    The bottom line?

    Prof. Ernst concludes, “This discloses double standards in UK health care, which may compromise patient safety.”

    The fact is that evidence-based medicine practice is not a priority for most CAM organizations.

    Maybe I’m cynical, but even among allopathic medicine organizations it seems that political and profit considerations assume a higher priority than the day-today practice of their members. Case in point is the sweeping healthcare revisions in the US.

    More on evidence-based practice is presented here, with a tutorial here.

    12/24/09 12:10 JR

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