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

    This blog ran from 2006 to 2016 and was 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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    UK doctors rate their knowledge of herbal medicines

    Here are the results of the British Medical Journal survey.

    88% of respondents came from the UK, with the rest coming from 10 countries.

    Do you think herbal medicines are helpful?

    • In some circumstances: 75%

    How would you describe the attitudes of the general public towards herbal medicines?

    • Generally positive: 82%

    Do you think that the general public has a misplaced faith in herbal medicines?

    • Yes: 72%

    In general, how well informed do you think the general public is about herbal medicines?

    • Poorly informed: 86%

    In general, how well informed do you think doctors are about herbal medicines?

    • Poorly informed: 76%

    How would you describe your current knowledge and understanding of herbal medicines?

    • Quite poor: 36%

    Compared to your knowledge of prescribed medicines, your knowledge of herbal medicines is…

    • Much poorer: 89%

    Do you worry that your patients will take herbal medicines and not tell you?

    • Yes: 77%

    When planning or reviewing a patient’s drug therapy, do you ask them whether they are already taking herbal medicines?

    • Occasionally/for a few patients: 47%

    If you knew a patient was taking a herbal medicine you did not know the effects of, would you generally seek further information on it before starting or adjusting non-herbal medication?

    • Yes: 70%

    Does your clinical prescribing system provide any information on herbal medicines?

    • No: 63%

    How much do you know about the regulatory arrangements around herbal medicines?

    • Very little: 52%

    Do you believe herbal medicines are well regulated?

    • No: 84%

    The bottom line?

    Lots of conclusions can be drawn from the survey results.

    Most interesting to me is that although 70% of the respondents would search for more information about herbals their patients take, 3 out of 10 respondents who would not seek further information cited uncertainty as to where to find reliable information (60%).

    4/8/10 19:57 JR

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