CAM Cost Effectiveness

Cost-effectiveness of natural supplements

  Researchers from the University of Toronto, in Ontario reviewed the evidence.

First, the details.

  • The results of 9 out of 585 studies were worth reviewing.
    • 3 on postoperative complications
    • 2 on cardiovascular disease
    • 2 on gastrointestinal disorders
    • 1 on critically ill patients
    • 1 on urinary tract infections

And, the results.

  • Evidence supports the cost effectiveness of natural. supplements in relation to postoperative surgery.
  • No evidence supported cost effectiveness for other conditions.

The bottom line?

Overall, the authors concluded, “The cost effectiveness of some natural health products is encouraging in certain areas but needs confirmation from further research.”

The authors concede, “A principal limitation to this systematic review is the paucity and variability of the data.”

“Given the number of studies, the different natural health products studied, and the variation in conditions of disease, it is impossible to combine our findings statistically in a meta-analysis.”

8/10/09 20:20 JR

Hi, I’m JR

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.