News FocusALTERNATIVE MEDICINE

Beefed-Up NIH Center Probes Unconventional Therapies

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Science  18 Dec 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5397, pp. 2175-2176
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5397.2175

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Summary

A federally funded $2.5 million clinical trial to test the efficacy of shark cartilage poses a dilemma for the National Institutes of Health, which has been given the responsibility to test unconventional therapies frequently dismissed by scientists as bogus. The trial is co-sponsored by the new National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, whose budget was raised 150% and whose status was elevated this fall in an attempt by Congress to focus more attention on remedies that are already widely used by consumers.