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Herb-Drug Interactions: Survey of Leading Pharmaceutical/Herbal Companies

Joanna Thompson Coon, PhD, BSc(Hons); Max Pittler, MD; Edzard Ernst, MD, PhD, FRCP(Edin)
Arch Intern Med. 2003;163(11):1371. doi:10.1001/archinte.163.11.1371-a.
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The risk of potentially harmful herb-drug interactions increases with the popular use of herbal medicinal products among the general population.1 To determine whether herb-drug interactions are being researched by the leading pharmaceutical and herbal companies worldwide, we conducted a postal survey.

Companies were identified from market research sources by revenue from pharmaceutical/herbal sales for the year ending December 1999.2,3 Custom-designed questionnaires were sent to the heads of research and development (identified from individual company Web sites) asking whether herb-drug interactions are considered important, whether studies are conducted, and whether funds are specifically allocated to research the topic and, if so, how much of their annual research and development budget was allocated in the year 2000. Nonresponders received 2 reminders, 6 and 12 weeks after the initial contact.

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