Perspectives for the Future of Chinese Medicine in Germany: (Results of the Essen-Consensus Conference 2009).

Gustav Dobos – Prof. Dr.

One of the major challenges in the Western World are exploding costs in the health-care system.

Even though the scientific evidence and convincing empiric clinical practice on the fact that acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine (CHM) are cost-effective and effective in the treatment of chronic illnesses is growing, politicians and health-insurance companies are still reluctant in supporting these therapies.

In September 2009 the ,Essen-Consensus Conference on Chinese Medicine (CM) in Germany’ funded by the Robert Bosch-Foundation took place in Essen, Germany. The basic question was on scientific and clinical status, as well as on the potential of, and how acupuncture and CHM more easily can be integrated into the German health-care system in the future.

For this reason it was important to bring together all experts, who are involved in this topic in Germany, such as: representatives of acupuncture and Chinese medicine societies in Germany (DÄGfA and SMS), of Universities involved in research in acupuncture and CHM (Universities of Berlin-Charité, Greifswald, Jena, Duisburg-Essen), of the Ministry of Health (Secretary of State and Deputy Minister of Health), of a pharmaceutical company (Schwabe Company), of health insurance companies (Barmer and TK) of the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) and internationally known clinical experts of acupuncture and CHM (Austria, Germany, Switzerland, USA).

The aim of the conference was the critical reflection of the major scientific and clinical aspects of acupuncture and CHM in Germany, as part of Integrative Medicine, combining mainstream and Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and to evaluate the therapeutic potentials of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.

In the talk the results of the conference as a possible basis for the European discussion and the plan of action will be presented.