The Egyptian Cabinet's Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC) recently released a comprehensive report titled "Alternative Medicine: A Global and Local Overview."
The report covers various aspects of alternative medicine, including its key stakeholders, the World Health Organization's (WHO) role in developing a strategy for traditional and complementary medicine, and the state of alternative medicine in Egypt. It also explores Egypt's international trade indices for herbal medicines and its thriving medical tourism industry.
Over the past few years, there has been a notable shift towards alternative medicine, which is also known as traditional or complementary medicine. This trend is due to its affordability and accessibility compared to conventional medicine.
The WHO highlights that alternative treatments are still widely used around the world, and interest in this field is expanding beyond products to include practices and practitioners.
The report delves into various forms of alternative medicine, such as Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Unani Medicine, Naturopathy, Manual Therapies, Natural Remedies, and Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment.
The global alternative medicine market was valued at approximately $100.04 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach $315.5 billion by 2027, with a compound annual growth rate of 20.8% from 2022 to 2027. This growth is due to increasing consumer preference for natural products and treatments worldwide.
The healthcare insurance sector is also contributing to the growth of the alternative medicine market by integrating coverage for alternative and complementary medicine into their medical plans.
To address the evolving landscape of alternative medicine, the WHO formulated a strategy in 2002 titled, "WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy 2002-2005."
Member countries have recognized traditional and complementary medicine as integral components of their healthcare systems, prompting the continuous update of strategic frameworks.
The rationale for updating these strategies stems from several factors, including rapid advancements in traditional and complementary medicine, the economic significance of alternative medicine, the global proliferation of products, variations in global standards, intellectual property rights, and the integration of alternative medicine into mainstream healthcare systems.