UK consumers embrace alternative medicines

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Medicine, Ayurveda

Sales of complementary therapies such as traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines are booming in the UK as increasing numbers of people turn away from prescription drugs, according to Mintel.

The market researcher noted the market had grown 18 per cent since 2007 to be worth £213m (€247m) in 2009. By 2013 it would be worth £282m (€328m) – a 33 per cent increase.

Mintel attributed the market growth to the increasing acceptance of alternative medicines with many of them being recommended through official channels such as the National Health Service.

With increasing numbers suffering from mental ailments such as stress and depression, herbal treatments such as St John's Wort were being used more frequently and by greater numbers of people.

It is estimated 1.5 Britons bought St John’s wort in 2009.

BBC cans CAM

However the UK complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) industry took a blow in 2008 when the state-owned British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) withdrew a section devoted to CAM from its online portal.

At the time, the BBC responded to a query from the British Complementary Medicine Association (BCMA), by stating the section's removal was part of an ongoing process of review.

"We strive to ensure that content is both of a high editorial standard and is as up-to-date and complete as possible,"​ the BBC spokesperson said. "As part of this ongoing activity we will often remove elements of the site which we feel do not meet these requirements, and where significant investment would be required to rectify this situation."

The BBCadded that the removal of the CAM section did not mean the BBC would not cover "the issues elsewhere on television, radio or online."

The section contained a range of information about complementary medicines such as botanicals and oils as well as complementary therapies like light therapy and massage.

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