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Bahrain approves rules on alternative medicines

Manama, October 6, 2012

More than 20 alternative medicine specialities have been approved as part of efforts to tighten regulation of the industry in Bahrain.

They include ancient treatment methods such as acupuncture, chiropractic, ayurvedic and siddha medicine, massage therapy, herbal therapy, homoeopathy, naturopathy, osteopathy, traditional Chinese, Japanese, Mongolian and Unani medicine.

Other specialities approved, based on World Health Organisation guidelines about their positive effects, are aromatherapy, bach flower remedies, colon therapy, chelation therapy, cupping, craniosacral therapy, colon hydrotherapy, reflexology and hydrotherapy.

The decision was taken following a meeting of the GCC health regulators held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, said National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA) chief executive Dr Bahaa Eldin Fateha.

"Bahrain has also, in the last few weeks, licensed alternative medicine disciplines that are allowed to be practised in the country," he told our sister newspaper, the Gulf Daily News.

"Medical centres in Bahrain can apply to the NHRA to set up clinics in the allowed disciplines provided they have qualified doctors in those disciplines."

The NHRA board earlier issued four directives to control the sale and prescription of traditional, complementary and alternative medicine (TCAM) following concern about the credibility of some businesses.

The regulations explain how such medications should be sold and prescribed and TCAM practised, illustrating the requirements of people and facilities licensed to sell them.

NHRA chairman Dr Wahid Agab earlier said the body had received laboratory and clinical confirmation about the danger of using such medications by those who were not licensed to do so.

He said those who falsely claim medicinal effect of herbs and other such cases had to now strictly adhere to the rules.

Dr Agab said in many instances false claims of treating serious diseases such as diabetes and cancer had misled people to move from well-proven effective medications into consuming fraudulent and questionable products.

Inspectors had also come across many such advertisements in public markets and suqs making fraudulent claims. – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Bahrain | Manama | Alternative medicine |

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