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. 2013;2013:576973.
doi: 10.1155/2013/576973. Epub 2013 Nov 30.

Prescription of Kampo Drugs in the Japanese Health Care Insurance Program

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Prescription of Kampo Drugs in the Japanese Health Care Insurance Program

Kotoe Katayama et al. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. .
Free PMC article


Kampo medicine or traditional Japanese medicine has been used under Japan's National Health Insurance scheme for 46 years. Recent research has shown that more than 80% of physicians use Kampo in daily practice. However, the use of Kampo from the patient perspective has received scant attention. To assess the current use of Kampo drugs in the National Health Insurance Program, we analysed a total of 67,113,579 health care claim records, which had been collected by Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in 2009. We found that Kampo drugs were prescribed for 1.34% of all patients. Among these, 92.2% simultaneously received biomedical drugs. Shakuyakukanzoto was the most frequently prescribed Kampo drug. The usage of frequently prescribed Kampo drugs differed between the youth and the elderly, males and females, and inpatients and outpatients. Kampo medicine has been employed in a wide variety of conditions, but the prescription rate was highest for disorders associated with pregnancy, childbirth, and the puerperium (4.08%). Although the adoption of Kampo medicine by physicians is large in a variety of diseases, the prescription rate of Kampo drugs is very limited.

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