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Health Aff (Millwood). 2005 Jul-Aug;24(4):991-3.

Racing toward the integration of complementary and alternative medicine: a marathon or a sprint?

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  • 1National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), National Institutes of Health, in Bethesda, Maryland, USA.


Health care opinion leaders concur that integration of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) into the U.S. health care system must be based on strong supporting evidence of safety and efficacy. As others have pointed out, integration is under way, despite the lack of reliable, rigorous science supporting the use of most CAM treatments. We contend that optimal integration of CAM is a long-term endeavor--a marathon rather than a sprint. The evidence base does not now support its wholesale assimilation; market forces, although compelling, should not be the primary consideration in integration.

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