Research and Markets: Alternative Healthcare Market Assessment 2010

DUBLIN–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Research and Markets (

has announced the addition of the “Alternative

Healthcare Market Assessment 2010” report to their offering.

Like previous editions of this Market Assessment, Key Note’s 2010 report

on alternative healthcare also known as complementary and alternative

medicine (CAM) concentrates on major therapies such as acupuncture, the

Alexander Technique, aromatherapy, chiropractic, herbal medicine,

homeopathy, osteopathy and reflexology, and also covers herbal and

homeopathic remedies and aromatherapy oils. There are, however, a large

number of other alternative healthcare techniques not covered by this

report. Some of these resemble the aforementioned therapies, although

others relate more to exercise, spiritual welfare or personal fulfilment.

Many alternative therapies and remedies, particularly acupuncture and

herbal medicine, have been in existence for centuries and have formed

the basis for modern `conventional’ medicine. A point of difference,

however, is that some are regarded as `holistic’; that is, they treat

the whole person rather than targeting specific symptoms and their

causes, as is the case with conventional medicine. Although herbal

remedies are widely perceived as `natural’ in terms of their sources,

Key Note’s research shows that many consumers recognise the need to

treat them with similar caution as conventional medicines.

Despite the fact that medical specialists, general practitioners (GPs),

nurses and other health professionals sometimes practise alternative

therapies themselves, or refer patients to alternative practitioners, a

low proportion of respondents to Key Note’s survey felt that the medical

profession supported, recommended or had enough knowledge about

alternative healthcare. Furthermore, although the NHS has for many years

offered selected alternative therapies to patients (particularly

homeopathy), the availability of these has declined due to the NHS

questioning the lack of `evidence-based proof of efficacy’. In January

2008, it was reported that many NHS trusts had withdrawn or reduced

funding for homeopathy during the previous 2 years.

Since the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology’s

report on CAM was published in 2000, there has been slow but ongoing

activity regarding statutory or voluntary self-regulation of alternative

healthcare therapists in the UK. Currently, only chiropractors and

osteopaths are fully regulated, although discussions continue regarding

self-regulation in acupuncture, herbal medicine, homeopathy,

aromatherapy, the Alexander Technique and reflexology. Indeed, the

Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) Register is already

open to some of these disciplines, with more to be included in the

future. Key Note’s research shows that people would be better disposed

towards the use of acupuncture and herbal medicine if these areas were

regulated for safety and effectiveness.

A major issue in CAM remains the effect across Europe of the EU

Directive on Traditional Herbal Medicinal Products. This addresses the

questions of quality, safety and efficacy of herbal remedies, which are

growing concerns owing to the increasing number of products on the

market a few of which have been shown to present distinct health risks.

In order to continue to be offered for sale after end April 2011, all

herbal remedies that have been on the market for 30 years (prior to

2004) must hold a Traditional Herbal Registration (THR). However, they

will be exempted if they hold a Product Licence (PL) or Market

Authorisation (MA), are classified as a botanical product under food

law, are available only from herbal practitioners or are making no

medicinal claims. Products that have been on the market for less than 30

years prior to 2004 must comply with one of these last conditions.

Despite regulatory challenges, some manufacturers, such as Diomed and

New Nordic, have been offering new herbal products. In addition, there

is some consolidation among UK manufacturers and suppliers, coupled with

increasing activity to improve UK market shares by Swiss- and

German-owned companies such as Galenica, Bioforce, Klosterfrau and

Schwabe. Some of these have become the major holders of THRs in the UK

with their branded products.

It is thought that the Internet is gradually becoming a more important

source of supply of herbal and homeopathic remedies, and for

aromatherapy oils. However, the major distribution channels remain

chemists and drugstores, health-food shops, grocery multiples and, in

the case of aromatherapy, cosmetics and toiletries specialists.

Main media advertising expenditure on herbal, homeopathic and

aromatherapy products remains at a relatively low level. With regard to

retail sales values, there has been an estimated fall in sales of herbal

remedies in recent years, as well as a slight decline in the case of

homeopathic remedies in 2009. However, the aromatherapy oils sector grew

steadily up to 2009. Key Note forecasts that sales of herbal remedies

will decline in 2010 and 2011, before staging a recovery between 2012

and 2014. Sales of homeopathic remedies are also expected to dip in 2010

and 2011; despite a slight increase in 2012, they are predicted to

remain static thereafter. Meanwhile, sales of aromatherapy oils are

expected to grow slowly throughout the period from 2010 to 2014.

Key Topics Covered:

  • Executive Summary

  • 1. Introduction

  • 2. Strategic Overview

  • 3. Market Analysis

  • 4. Advertising and Promotion

  • 5. Distribution

  • 6. An International Perspective

  • 7. PEST Analysis

  • 8. Consumer Dynamics

  • 9. Company Profiles

  • 10. The Future

  • 11. Further Sources

  • Companies Mentioned

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