Pharmacoeconomics: Open Access

ISSN: 2472-1042

Open Access

Alternative medical approaches to rare and intractable diseases Which one is legal: waiting for evidences or offering a potential treatment?


Dr. Mehdy Ghaeminia, MD, PhD, Lic Acupuncturist Dr. Sogand Zareisedehizadeh, MD, PhD, Lic Acupuncturist

Since the introduction of what we know as conventional medicine in 17th century, scientists and medical practitioners tried to focus on evidence-based medicine incrementally. Since that time, there has been objections towards traditional medicine due to lack of enough scientific data to support their efficacy or safety. Therefore, the traditional medical treatments were ignored by the conventional healthcare system for many years. However, many people continued to get help from traditional remedies mainly when they were disappointed from the conventional medicine. Additionally, conventional medicine faced growing challenges such as side effects and difficulties to control or treat some diseases. It convinced some practitioners to use traditional or other alternative methods beside the conventional approaches. Though, lack of scientific proof of efficacy and safety their position in the healthcare system remain as a significant challenge. Here, a survey is reported on the chief complaints of patients seeking help from alternative medicine and the reasons they are approaching this field of medicine in order to make a realistic overall picture of the practical position of alternative medicine in the actual healthcare system and discuss the role of alternative medical practitioners in the public education towards a better and healthier society through integrative medicine by merging the conventional and alternative medicine. Based on the survey, although most of patients refer to the alternative medical clinics for benign and cosmetic problems, the role of these therapeutic methods gets more prominent during the management of rare conditions and patients suffering from intractable diseases when they have unsuccessfully tried various diagnostic and therapeutic methods. Since these patients need more support to cover their medical expenses, it is important that the role of integrative and alternative medicine be well recognized by healthcare systems.


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