Introduction to the Pharmacoeconomics of Herbal Medicines
Peter A.G.M. De Smet
Ary Van der Kuy
Yechiel A. Hekster
Marja H. Pronk
Mark J.A. Brorens
Jacques H.M. Lockefeer
Mark J.C. Nuijten
This article explores the need to perform pharmacoeconomic evaluations of herbal medicines and assesses the extent to which this approach has been applied so far to these products. There seems to be no compelling need for pharmacoeconomic analyses of herbal over-the-counter medicines, but such analyses are certainly warranted for herbal prescription medicines that have a high level of reimbursement. Such preparations are used in Germany, in particular, where physicians prescribed ginkgo, hawthorn, St John's wort, horse-chestnut and saw palmetto to a value of more than DM50 million each in 1996. In our survey, only a single pharmacoeconomic study, of uncertain quality, was found on these 5 herbs, whereas several pharmacoeconomic reports on synthetic competitors were retrieved. The time has come to submit highly reimbursed herbal prescription medicines to the same rigorous pharmacoeconomic evaluations as their synthetic competitors. At present, such studies are particularly important for Germany, but in the future they may also become relevant for other countries, inside as well as outside Europe.
In order to set up a list of libraries that you have access to,
you must first login
or sign up.
Then set up a personal list of libraries from your profile page by
clicking on your user name at the top right of any screen.