Objective: A summary of main aspects from a Health Technology Assessment report on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in Switzerland concerning effectiveness and safety is given. Materials and Methods: Literature search was performed through 13 databases, by scanning reference lists of articles and by contacting experts. Assessed were quality of documentation, internal and external validity. Results: Effectiveness: 43 articles concerning ‘gastrointestinal tract and liver’ were assessed. The studies covering 7,436 patients were undertaken in China (35), Japan (3), USA (2) and Australia (3); 33/43 being controlled studies. 34/40 show significantly better results in the TCM-treated group. A comparison of studies on results of treatment based on a diagnosis according to TCM criteria and studies on results of treatment according to Western diagnosis shows that treatment based on TCM diagnosis improves the result. The comparison of treatment by individual medication and standard medication showed a trend in favor of individual medication. Safety: TCM training and practice for physicians in Switzerland are officially regulated. Side effects occur, but no severe effects have been registered up to now in Switzerland. TCM medicinals are imported; admission regulations are being installed. Problems due to production abroad, Internet trade, self-medication or admixtures are possible. Conclusion: The evaluation of the literature search provides evidence for a basic clinical effectiveness of TCM therapy. Severe side effects were not observed in Switzerland. Regulations for trading and use of medicinals prevent treatment risks. Further clinical studies in a Western context are required.

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