The problematic aspects of legal regulation of complementary and alternative medicine ir Lithuania

Indrė Špokienė

Abstract


This article analyses the situation of legal regulation of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in Lithuania. It is concluded that our system of the legal regulation of the medical practice is tolerant, because such CAM practices as acupuncture, reflexology, manual therapy, homeopathy, physiotherapy, the massage therapy are part of this system. Their inclusion into the list of licensed ambulatory health care services emphasizes the careful view of the government to the methods put in practice. Fees for consultations with naturopathy, homeopathy, acupuncture, manual therapy practitioners are not reimbursed by the national healthcare insurance system. It shows the incredulous rating of their effect to the patient’s health. The author observes that in Lithuania the phytotherapy and the anthroposophy medicines is acknowledged too, because anthroposophic medicinal products, traditional herbal remedies, food supplements are the object of the national legal regulation. The law of the EU conferred a big trigger on it. The special legal regulation comprehends only a very small part of aspects, which are associated with the CAM services and products. Only licensing of already above mentioned health care services, registration of homeopathic and antroposophic medicines, the notification of the food supplements imported from third (none-EU) countries, also some aspects of the labeling and advertising of those products are used. The remaining big sector of the CAM has no legal requirements. Therefore many practical problems exists, for example, unqualified (or poorly qualified) practitioners; inadequate, misleading information about the CAM services, methods and products to patient /consumer; liability for damage to patient / consumer health; ineffectiveness and the unsafeness of CAM products presented as medicines and etc. These problems require the scientific legal evaluation and some changes of national law.

Keywords


complementary and alternative medicine; legal regulation of complementary and alternative medicine; products of complementary and alternative medicine

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"Health Policy and Management" ISSN online 2029-9001 / ISSN print 2029-3569