Health Economics of Complementary Medicine

Complementary medicine is a significant and mostly privately funded component of the healthcare landscape. 

Preliminary studies and usage patterns indicate that complementary medicine may represent substantial potential in disease prevention, in addressing the burden of chronic disease and achieving greater health and well being at reduced cost.

Australian Reports 

Cost effectiveness of complementary medicines 

NICM commissioned Access Economics to research the cost effectiveness of selected complementary medicine treatments for some of Australia's most common and costly chronic health problems including: low back pain, heart disease, depression and arthritis.

Health expenditure Australia 2011-12 

The 2013 report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare notes that healthcare in the 21st century presents a major economic challenge. More than $140 billion was spent in 2011-12 directly on healthcare costs. This represents 9.5 percent of GDP in 2011-12 and is forecast to grow to 15 percent of GDP by 2045.  

International Reports 

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) - United Kingdom

The report discusses the cost-effectiveness of various alternative treatments for low back pain and depression in its guidelines. Read or download these guidelines on the NICE website (opens in a new window).

Smart prevention 

The report investigates health care cost savings resulting from the targeted use of dietary supplements.

The economic report by Frost and Sullivan demonstrates that the use of specific dietary supplements among those consumers that are at a high risk of experiencing a costly disease-related event can lead to a positive health care cost savings.

Read or download the report on the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) (opens in a new window) website.