J Ethnopharmacol. 1993 Mar; 38(2-3): 197-208.
An introduction to herbal pharmacoepidemiology.
Drug Information Center, Royal Dutch Association for the Advancement of Pharmacy, The Hague, The Netherlands.
Herbal pharmacoepidemiology concerns itself with herbal drug uses and effects in large numbers of people. This new methodology can make substantial contributions to our understanding of herbal drug markets. Not only can it improve the timely detection and the quantitation of adverse reactions to botanical medicines, it can also help us to recognize beneficial effects of herbal preparations. Moreover, it can increase our social and economic knowledge about herbal drugs by correlating the utilization patterns of these preparations to socially relevant determinants and prices. Since such studies may require an internationally accepted herbal drug classification, a special set of herbal classification codes is proposed, which is fully compatible with the so-called ATC-classification. This latter system is endorsed by the Regional Office for Europe of the World Health Organization as the drug classification to be used in international pharmacoepidemiological studies.