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The US National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) has had $842 million of taxpayers’ money and has wasted most of it.

Why the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) Should Be Defunded

This article by Wallace I. Sampson, M.D. describes clearly what is wrong with NCCAM. This organisation had government funding of $122.7 million in 2006. Since its foundation (as the Office of Alternative Medicine), it has received not much short of a billion dollars ($842 m). What has the US taxpayer had for this money?

“. . it has not proved effectiveness for any “alternative” method. It has added evidence of ineffectiveness of some methods that we knew did not work before NCCAM was formed. NCCAM proposals for 2002 and 2003 promise no
more. Its major accomplishment has been to ensure the positions of medical school faculty who might become otherwise employed –in more productive pursuits.”

“NCCAM is ridden with potential and actual conflicts of interest. Ten individuals account for 20% of NCCAM awards. None of them has produced a definitively positive or negative report. Most recipients have produced no report at all. Two individuals originally on the Advisory Council that approves NCCAM policy were awarded over $4 million and $5 million in repeated awards. ”

“NCCAM recently awarded $15 million to nine medical schools to develop teaching of these subjects—all by advocates of “CAM.” It gave no funds to the five medical school courses with curricula already developed that teach about the subject rationally. In other words, NCCAM’s research agenda fits its congressional supporters’ ideological vision and finds unproductive ways to use up its ballooning appropriations. ”

“NCCAM could be dissolved, its functions returned to other NIH centers, with no loss of knowledge, and an economic gain. Funds could be invested into studies of how such misadventures into “alternative” medicine can be avoided, and on studying the warping of human perceptions and beliefs that led to the present situation. ”

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