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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    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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