Report Calls for End to Federal Funding for Study of Alternative Medicine
In 1992, Congress allocated $2 million for a
National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Alternative Medicine.
Seven years later, in 1999, the Office of Alternative
Medicine evolved into a fully independent NIH center called the National
Center for Complementary
and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Since 2000, NCCAM has been awarded $2
billion for research, and currently has an annual budget of $134
Yet nearly twenty years of study have shown that most alternative
“cures” work no better than placebos, and that NCCAM should be defunded
or abolished, according to the authors of an upcoming report in the
magazine Skeptical Inquirer. In Culling Non-Science From Scarce Medical Resources, Eugenie V. Mielczarek and Brian Engler examine all
NCCAM research between 2000 and 2011, and find no discoveries that
justify spending taxpayer dollars to maintain its existence.
A downloadable preview version of Culling Non-Science From Scarce Medical Resources is available here.
The full report will appear in the January/February issue of Skeptical Inquirer, which is published by the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, an affiliate of the Center for Inquiry.
Culling Non-Science From Scarce Medical Resources was
authored by Eugenie V. Mielczarek, emeritus professor of physics at
George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. Her 40 years of research is in
the area of materials
science and biological physics. Mielczarek was assisted by Brian Engler,
a retired U.
S. Navy Commander. His fields of study include
operations research and business administration.
The report builds on a 2009 paper that Mielczarek lead authored for the Center for Inquiry, A Fracture in our Health Care: Paying for Non-Evidence Based Medicine. You can read more about that report here.