Integrative Medicine (IM) is an emerging paradigm in healthcare evolution. A growing trend amongst practitioners, IM is the combination of allopathic Western medicine and complementary and alternative medicine (CAMS). It moves away from the ‘either/or’ mentality and embraces a holistic approach that incorporates various therapies.

The IM concept focuses on health support, illness prevention and lifestyle factors. The paradigm utilises conventional approaches such as drugs and surgery, but accentuates natural products and therapies that are designed to treat the whole person and not just the disease. The number of medical schools providing IM education has grown significantly. In South Africa, the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Stellenbosch offers an Integrative Medicine module for 5th year medical students.

According to IM practitioner and founder of the Integrative Medicine Society of South Africa, Dr Bernard Brom,  “Integrative medicine combines both the art and science of medicine in a way that is fluid and creative, and honours the needs of the patient and the dynamic way the body attempts to heal itself. Natural interventions devised to stimulate the body’s innate healing potential have a vital future role to play in the healthcare system.”

For more information: http://www.integrativemedicine.co.za/index.html



The HPA is committed to workable and appropriate regulations designed to benefit and protect the industry and consumers. To achieve this, the association is working closely with the Medicines Control Council (MCC) which has reinstated the Industry Task Group (ITG) to engage specifically on CAMS regulatory matters. The HPA’s Director of Scientific & Regulatory Affairs, Wayne Robinson, represents the association on the CAMS ITG Forum and is industry representative on the MCC ITG Forum.  This has fostered an amicable working relationship with government.

Robinson, who has attended the ITG CAMS Committee meetings says, “The HPA is working together with the other associations on the ITG CAMS Working Group to help promote the CAMS / Health Supplement (HS) industry. The HPA Scientific & Regulatory Committee prepared and submitted a proposal for a simplified CTD submission of HS registration which was incorporated into the ITG CAMS Working Group proposal that was tabled to the MCC in November 2016. The HPA Scientific & Regulatory Committee is also busy finalising a proposal for a Licence Application Process. The aim is for this to be ratified at next week’s CAMS ITG so that it will assist new applicants to apply for licences with the MCC. The HPA Scientific & Regulatory Committee is also assisting members with delays and issues they are experiencing at Port Health.”

The HPA Scientific & Regulatory Affairs Committee members are: Maria Ascencao, Trevor Baillie, Allen Frank, Rudi Martins, Celecia Pleass, Pieta Serfontein, Janet Welham, Cynthia Rousselot and Elrika Zeier.

Wayne Robinson’s presentation can be accessed on the HPA website.


Seventy-one percent of adults in the USA — more than 170 million—take dietary supplements, according to the most recent annual survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN).  The 2016 CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements found that the five most popular supplements are the multivitamin, vitamin D, vitamin C, calcium and vitamin B/B complex. Contributing to the boost in overall usage is general population growth, as well as the increase in usage among adults between the ages 18–34.

“It is exciting to see the growth in supplement-usage among younger adults, especially after our 2015 survey indicated that increased usage should be anticipated among those aged 18 to 34 over the next five years,” said Judy Blatman, Senior Vice-President, Communications, CRN. “Every industry is talking about the millennials and the impact this generation will have. Our data shows the impact is already being made on the dietary supplement industry, as young adults are increasingly incorporating dietary supplements into their health regimens.”

For the full press release go to: http://www.crnusa.org/CRNPR16-Survey-SupplementBoost102716.html




The first Pan African Congress of Integrative Medicine is to be hosted by the South African Society of Integrative Medicine (SASIM) at Spier Wine Estate, Stellenbosch, on Thursday, 4 May to Saturday, 6 May, 2017. The conference will feature presentations from local and international medical specialists, as well as experts in other healthcare fields.

International speakers include Dr Dakal Akoury, Dr Damien Downing, Dr Judith Pentz, Prof Adam Perlman and Dr Daniel Weber. Local speakers are Prof Patrick Bouic, Dr Keith Cloete, Dr Raoul Goldberg, Dr Craige Golding, Dr Helen Miur, Prof Daniel Ncayiyana, Prof Tim Noakes, Prof Susan J van Rensburg and Dr Simon Whitesman. These luminaries in their fields will discuss Integrative Oncology, Integrative Psychiatry, Integrative Management of Addictions, The Chronic Burden of Disease in South Africa, How Medical Science is Failing Us, Paradigm Shifting in Health Care, Environmental Health and Integrative Solutions, Medical Cannabis, Ageing Well/ Anti-Ageing, Integrative Management of Multiple Sclerosis, Spirit in Medicine, and Thyroid Disease and its Complex Management.

Says Dr Bernard Brom: “Health professionals from around the world are increasingly interested in an approach that meets concerns by the public and the medical profession for more effective, compassionate, patient-centered medicine. Please join us in a creative conversation that speaks to the needs of our time to change mind-sets, and open medicine to a more health-orientated approach to dealing with the chronic disease burden.”

For more information: http://integrativemedicinecongress.com/



The 21st International Union of Nutritional Sciences-International Congress of Nutrition (IUNS-ICN) has accepted a proposal by IADSA to hold a session on the role of supplements in nutrition and health at the Congress that will take place in Buenos Aires on 15th – 20th October 2017.

The ICN, organized every four years by the IUNS, brings together several thousand people from across the world’s nutrition-science community and aims to address the key aspects of nutrition in a multicultural environment, from state-of-the-art reviews to cutting-edge nutritional science. The IADSA session will be chaired by Johanna Dwyer PhD of Tufts University who will invite, among others, Jeff Blumberg (Tufts University), Ligia Martini (Sao Paolo University) and Andrew Shao (IADSA Chair of the IADSA Scientific Council) to examine how the field of nutrition has evolved, and discuss the potential role of dietary/food supplements in health promotion. The session will also review how the category is regulated in key markets around the world, and discuss the scientific, regulatory and industry challenges that hamper our understanding of the role of supplements.

For more information: http://www.iuns.org/iuns-icn/



Medical marijuana may soon be available in South Africa as a prescription drug. On 23 November 2016 at the Portfolio Committee on Health, the Department of Health (DoH)) outlined plans for cannabis legislation. The DoH briefing was based on the Medical Innovation Bill proposed by former IFP MP, Mario Ambrosini, who died of cancer in 2014. Guidelines for the cultivation and use of cannabis are scheduled to be published in early 2017.The DA and the IFP have publicly supported this progressive initiative.

Strict regulations will be imposed on the growing and use of cannabis which has gained a reputation for assisting in the treatment of numerous health conditions. MCC Registrar, Dr Joey Gouws, said that the Director General will regulate medical cannabis growers by issuing a permit for controlled cultivation for medicinal use. Legal cannabis products are to be manufactured and supplied under controlled conditions so as to ensure a supply of standardised high quality medicinal cannabis.

For more:



The Common Technical Document (CTD) is a legal requirement for product registration in South Africa. It is, however, designed for single-ingredient pharmaceutical products as opposed to multi-ingredient CAMS products. Completing the CTD proficiently has been a source of much frustration for CAMS manufacturers and distributors.  HPA Technical Advisor, Janet Welham, has prepared a comprehensive presentation on CTD Compliance. She states: “CTD is only a FORMAT, it is not a PROCESS. It is a TEMPLATE for presenting data in a dossier – NOT a single DOSSIER for one person, but multiple parts for many.”

The HPA will propose, via the ITG CAMS Working Group, that a more appropriate and simplified version for the submission of CAMS and dietary supplements be prepared. The CTD registration procedure is based on the product’s risk profile – low risk or high risk. The HPA therefore suggests a two-stream CTD submission – one for low risk health supplements and another for CAMS products that have health claims. The ITG CAMS Working Group is to put a proposal to the MCC to use a pre-screening form to make the routing simpler.

Janet Welham’s complete presentation can be accessed on the HPA website:



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