Research of Natural Health Products is Lacking – Right?

Main Article Content

Nigel A. Pollard

Keywords

clinical trials, dietary supplements, evidence-based medicine, GACP, GCP, GMP, herbal medicine, innovation, natural medicine

Abstract

In May 1994, while working in marketing for BASF Pharmaceuticals in Germany, I was prescribed a product called Sinupret® for chronic sinusitis by my family physician. The product was behind the counter in the local pharmacy and was reimbursed by my health insurance. After some months, my sinusitis was gone and I was intrigued about the product, its regulation and most particularly the research behind it. In reading the Sinupret® packet I discovered to my surprise that it was a herbal medicine. Convinced, with my pharma background, that there would be little evidence for such a product I asked our medical information department to conduct a literature review of all clinical trials for herbal medicines in all languages. A week later I received 4 thick lever arch files of abstracts of tens of thousands of clinical trials on hundreds of products. This delivery changed my life!

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