CAM trial breaks new ground

A HERBAL preparation and prescription drug will go head to head in an Australian-first trial designed to set a new evidentiary benchmark for complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).

The trial will pit Iberogast, a liquid formulation of nine herbs, against the proton pump inhibitor (PPI) esomeprazole (Nexium) in patients with functional dyspepsia.

Lead investigator, Adelaide gastroenterologist Associate Professor Jane Andrews, said the trial was unique, signalling a CAM company that was willing to subject its product and claims to rigorous and independent examination.

“That’s why we were very keen to make a success of this study,” Professor Andrews, who is also a senior gastroenterology consultant at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, told MO.

“There are a lot of claims made by complementary medicine, which [the companies] decline to evaluate in any way, and a lot of these claims are absolute rubbish and