About the Article

Published in: Vol. 5, No. 4
Category: Commentaries

About the Author

Edward C. Halperin


Notes on James S. Gordon, MD, Chair of the WHCCAMP


White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy: A Membership Directory


The Office of Alternative Medicine/NCCAM Should Be Abolished

THE OFFICE OF ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE (OAM) OF the National Institutes of Health (NIH) was mandated by Congress in 1991 and launched in 1992 with an annual budget of $2 million. Congress has increased the office’s budget steadily, to $12 million this year. Recently, Oregon Democrat Peter A. DeFazio introduced a bill, cosponsored by 155 other members of the House of Representatives, to elevate the OAM to the status of major center at the NIH and change its name to the National Center for Integral Medicine. Sen Tom Harkin (D–Iowa) plans to introduce a similar bill in the US Senate.1

The OAM is charged with screening and evaluating the clinical benefits, if any, of unconventional or non-traditional approaches to health problems. In return for millions of our tax dollars, the office has funded studies such as the following:

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