Back to Journals » Comparative Effectiveness Research » Volume 5

The role and importance of economic evaluation of traditional herbal medicine use for chronic non-communicable diseases

Authors Hughes G, Aboyade O, Hill J, Rasu R

Received 7 November 2014

Accepted for publication 25 February 2015

Published 16 July 2015 Volume 2015:5 Pages 49—55


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Corrine Voils

Gail D Hughes,1 Oluwaseyi M Aboyade,1 John D Hill,2 Rafia S Rasu3

1South African Herbal Science and Medicine Institute, University of the Western Cape, Western Cape, South Africa; 2Department of Pharmacy, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, 3School of Pharmacy, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, USA

Background: Non-communicable diseases (NCD) constitute major public health problems globally, with an impact on morbidity and mortality ranking high and second to HIV/AIDS. Existing studies conducted in South Africa have demonstrated that people living with NCD rely on traditional herbal medicine (THM) primarily or in combination with conventional drugs. The primary research focus has been on the clinical and experimental aspects of THM use for NCD, with limited data on the economic impact of health care delivery. Therefore, the purpose of this study will be to determine the cost and utilization of resources on THM in South Africa for NCD.
Materials and methods: Study describes the methods toward incorporating cost estimations and economic evaluation illustrated with the Prospective Urban and rural Epidemiological (PURE) study in South Africa. The South African PURE cohort is investigating the geographic and socioeconomic influence of THM spending and utilization, variations in spending based on perceived health status, marital status, and whether spending patterns have any impact on hospitalizations and disability.
Data collection and evaluation plan: Since the individual costs of THM are not regulated nor do they have a standardized price value, information obtained through this study can be utilized to assess differences and determine underlying factors contributing to spending. This insight into THM spending patterns can aid in the development and implementation of guidelines or standardized legislation governing THM use and distribution. An economic evaluation and cost estimation model has been proposed, while the data collection is still ongoing. Particularly, willingness to pay method measures how much participants are willing to pay for THM for perceived improvements in health. Resource-use and expenditures along with annual direct costs for households will be determined.
Conclusion: Economic evaluations can provide insight for health care policy decision makers on the appropriate inclusion of THM to reduce the overall burden of health care costs in South Africa. Because of the increased prevalence of integrative medicine, it is crucial to consider potential implications and their use of comparative effectiveness research to incorporate complementary and alternative medicine in future.

Keywords: complementary medicine, alternative medicine, economics, comparative effectiveness research, CAM

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]


Other articles by this author:

Persistent nonmalignant pain management using nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in older patients and use of inappropriate adjuvant medications

Rianon N, Knell ME, Agbor-Bawa W, Thelen J, Burkhardt C, Rasu RS

Drug, Healthcare and Patient Safety 2015, 7:43-50

Published Date: 29 January 2015

Level, pattern, and determinants of polypharmacy and inappropriate use of medications by village doctors in a rural area of Bangladesh

Rasu RS, Iqbal M, Hanifi SMA, Moula A, Hoque S, Rasheed S, Bhuiya A

ClinicoEconomics and Outcomes Research 2014, 6:515-521

Published Date: 3 December 2014

Readers of this article also read:

Monitoring cancer stem cells: insights into clinical oncology

Lin SC, Xu YC, Gan ZH, Han K, Hu HY, Yao Y, Huang MZ, Min DL

OncoTargets and Therapy 2016, 9:731-740

Published Date: 11 February 2016

BRAF mutation as a biomarker in colorectal cancer

Varghese AM, Saltz LB

Advances in Genomics and Genetics 2015, 5:347-353

Published Date: 15 October 2015

Companion diagnostics and molecular imaging-enhanced approaches for oncology clinical trials

Van Heertum RL, Scarimbolo R, Ford R, Berdougo E, O’Neal M

Drug Design, Development and Therapy 2015, 9:5215-5223

Published Date: 11 September 2015

Cancer therapy and cardiovascular risk: focus on bevacizumab

Economopoulou P, Kotsakis A, Kapiris I, Kentepozidis N

Cancer Management and Research 2015, 7:133-143

Published Date: 3 June 2015

Tracking the 2015 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium: bridging cancer biology to clinical gastrointestinal oncology

Aprile G, Leone F, Giampieri R, Casagrande M, Marino D, Faloppi L, Cascinu S, Fasola G, Scartozzi M

OncoTargets and Therapy 2015, 8:1149-1156

Published Date: 22 May 2015

Breakthrough cancer pain – still a challenge

Margarit C, Juliá J, López R, Anton A, Escobar Y, Casas A, Cruz JJ, Galvez R, Mañas A, Zaragozá F

Journal of Pain Research 2012, 5:559-566

Published Date: 19 November 2012

Palliative nursing care for children and adolescents with cancer

Foster TL, Bell CJ, McDonald CF, Harris JS, Gilmer MJ

Nursing: Research and Reviews 2012, 2:17-25

Published Date: 15 June 2012