CONSUMERS SUPPORT LEGISLATION FOR HERBAL MEDICINES
February 2001: Almost nine out of ten consumers would like to
see government legislation brought in.
Almost nine out of ten consumers (87%) would like to see government
legislation brought in to control the production and efficacy, of
claims made for herbal medicines, according to a survey* conducted
by Taylor Nelson Sofres, for Herbal Concepts, one of the UK's
leading herbal medicine companies.
With no current legislation enforcing quality standards, many
unlicensed herbal remedies are available making treatment claims
with no supporting, independent clinical trials to prove their effects
or safety. It is only licensed herbal medicines that have undergone
the same rigorous Department of Health checks and clinical tests
as conventional drugs, which can prove their efficacy and safety
The survey also showed that only about half the population actually
understand the difference between a licensed herbal medicine and
an unlicensed herbal remedy, making the need for legislation even
"With the UK herbal medicines market now worth around £55million
and continuing to grow at about 12% per year, there are huge numbers
of people now buying herbal treatments in good faith and really
not knowing what they are getting," said Tim Michael, Marketing
Director, Herbal Concepts.
"Herbal medicines are just that –medicines – and people
have to be protected against their mis-use and mis-selling in the
same way as they are with conventional drugs. All our herbal medicines
are licensed by the government and we believe the entire market
should be regulated in this way."
The survey also showed the continued growth in popularity for
herbal medicines with 71% of consumers saying they would buy a licensed
herbal medicines, up from 68% in the same survey conducted in June
last year. Among parents, figures were even higher with 75% now
prepared to buy licensed herbal medicines to treat their family.
"The survey reinforced our belief that the public are increasingly
aware of the benefits of herbal medicines," added Tim Michael, "but
now is the time to make sure the market is regulated, so everyone
can be sure of the quality and efficacy of the herbal medicines
* survey conducted by Taylor Nelson Sofres, 26-28 January 2001
among 1000+ adults, aged 16+ throughout the UK and across all demographic
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