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What's in your medicine cabinet…any alternatives?




When faced with a choice, many Americans are turning to alternative medicines instead of surgery or pharmaceuticals, in a movement that has created a multi-billion dollar per year business and accounts for 11.2% of the public's total out-of-pocket health expenditures.  But what about those homeopathic, complementary, natural, herb-based products moving into the mainstream?  Do they work (they're regulated as food, not drugs, by the FDA), and even more important, are they safe?
When faced with a choice, many Americans are turning to alternative medicines instead of surgery or pharmaceuticals, in a movement that has created a multi-billion dollar per year business and accounts for 11.2% of the public's total out-of-pocket health expenditures. But what about those homeopathic, complementary, natural, herb-based products moving into the mainstream? Do they work (they're regulated as food, not drugs, by the FDA), and even more important, are they safe?
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When faced with a choice, many Americans are turning to alternative medicines instead of surgery or pharmaceuticals, in a movement that has created a multi-billion dollar per year business and accounts for 11.2% of the public's total out-of-pocket health expenditures. But what about those homeopathic, complementary, natural, herb-based products moving into the mainstream? Do they work (they're regulated as food, not drugs, by the FDA), and even more important, are they safe?

Guests:

Dr. Josephine Briggs, director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health

Dr. Jerome Kassirer, distinguished professor, Tufts University School of Medicine and
visiting professor, Stanford University School of Medicine. He is former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine