A European approach to non-conventional medicines



Council of Europe - Social Health and Family Affairs Committee

Publication Identity

Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly


A European approach to non-conventional medicines Parliamentary Assembly

1. The Assembly reaffirms the importance it attaches to conventional medicines whose effectiveness has been proved scientifically and which form the basis of European social protection systems. It notes, however, that alternative, complementary and non-conventional forms of medicine are growing in importance in Europe and throughout the world. The extent to which they are recognised and the legal status they enjoy vary greatly from one country to the next.

2. The best established forms include acupuncture, homeopathy, osteopathy and chiropractic. However, these are not alone among less conventional methods, some of which have been in existence for a very long time, and all of which respond to a demand. Patients themselves are increasingly calling for the use of different forms of treatment. This is a fact that cannot be ignored. The Assembly recognises the pre-eminence of conventional medicines; however, the various forms of medicine should not compete with one another: it is possible for them to exist side by side and complement one another.