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New European Network of Complementary Medicine

Centre for complementary medicine research at university hospital rechts der Isar in Munich coordinates EU research project

The centre for complementary medicine research at university hospital rechts der Isar in Munich was selected among several applicant groups for a large research project in complementary medicine by the European Union.

The European 3-year project called "CAMbrella" will receive nearly 1.5 million Euro of funding and start in January 2010, coordinated out of Munich. CAMbrella stands for an umbrella of research projects in Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

"In Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) there is a lack of sponsorship for research. In Germany, no governmental funding has been provided since 1996. CAMbrella will play an important role to overcome this deficit", agree project leader Dr. Wolfgang Weidenhammer and Dr. Dieter Melchart, leader of the centre.

The key task of this coordination action is building a network of European research institutes in complementary medicine and fostering international cooperation. Several working groups will focus on terminology, legal conditions for the implementation of naturopathic treatments, patients' needs, the role of CAM treatments in healthcare systems and questions on research methodology. The objective is to develop a comprehensive view of the current status of complementary medicine in Europe which will serve as a starting point for future research activities. Eventually, the CAMbrella project will provide a recommendation list for the latter.

The research group consists of 16 scientific partner organizations from 12 European countries. In order to bundle the relevant CAM stakeholders including patients, practitioners, clinical providers, manufacturers of CAM products and regulatory authorities, the project is accompanied by an Advisory Board.

In 2008, the European Commission announced a sponsorship in the field of complementary medicine in the context of the 7th framework program for research funding for the first time. The funding crowns the efforts of numerous European initiatives and organizations for complementary medicine also supported by the Munich centre for complementary medicine research.

Tanja Schmidhofer | idw
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