WHO working group: new guidelines underway

21 July 2016

A working group constituted by the World Health Organization's (WHO) Traditional and Complementary Medicines Program gathered at the University of Mississippi earlier this month to develop another in the series of WHO guidance documents on the utilisation of traditional and herbal medicines.

The increased utilisation of herbal medicines and botanical supplements around the world – and across borders and cultures – raises concerns about their interactions with conventional prescription medicines.

The goal of the meeting was to frame these issues and draft globally relevant guidelines on herb and drug interactions for utilisation by healthcare professionals and regulatory or compliance organisations.

Dr Zhang Qi, Coordinator of the WHO's Traditional and Complementary Medicine, led the working group for the three day meeting with 35 representatives from around the world, including NICM representatives, Michael Smith who acted as one of the two co-chairs and Professor Stephen Myers who was one of two rapporteurs for the meeting.