Complementary and alternative medicine and consumer law.

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Journal Article

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Weir, M., Wardle, J.L., Marshall, B., & Archer, E. (2013). Complementary and alternative medicine and consumer law. Competition and Consumer Law Journal, 21, 85-110.

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The application of consumer Law has become significant in the health sector including the provision of complementary and alternative medicine. Many legal authorities in this area deal with extreme examples of breaches of consumer law which provides a problematic image for the evidence base for this form of health care especially when high quality scientific is sought in regard to representations made. The article discusses the fact that in some contexts traditional use evidence is applied in regard to the determination of appropriate indications of use for the registration and listing of complementary and alternative medicine but this does not appear to be applied in consumer law decisions. The capacity to provide high quality scientific evidence is limited for many form of complementary and alternative medicine based upon their historical background and approach to healing. Based upon an analysis of the value obtained from scientific evidence for complementary and alternative medicine this article argues for a broader use of traditional evidence and other forms of evidence to support compliance with consumer legislation in a context of where public safety is preserved.

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This document has been peer reviewed.