Phil Rasmussen

M.Pharm., M.P.S., Dip. Herb. Med.; M.N.I.M.H.(UK), M.N.H.A.A; F.N.Z.A.M.H.

Phil has practiced as a Phyto therapist in Auckland for 26 years. He is also the founder and R&D Manager of Phytomed, a GMP certified herbal medicine manufacturer producing herbal extracts for practitioners in New Zealand and Australia, and the Kiwiherb range of herbal products. Phil has written and presented extensively on a wide range herbal subjects for practitioner, consumer and industry audiences, chaired government committees concerned with regulating natural health products, is a founding director of Natural Health Products NZ, and is currently the President of NZAMH. Before pursuing herbal medicine he worked for more than 10 years as a pharmacist, and undertook research on antidepressant drugs and serotonin.

Throughout his clinical career, Phil has routinely prescribed herbal medicines alongside drug medicines, and taken an interest in the growing body of scientific literature supporting concomitant treatments. He has written about and lectured on herb-drug interactions and what he terms ‘Positive Herb-Drug Interactions’, for nearly 20 years, and sees the pharmaco-economic case for such use, to be yet another compelling reason to pursue statutory regulation of the practice of medical herbalism.

Synergistic responses using Phytomedicines with Drugs; Improving Health and Pharmacoeconomic outcomes

Research shows that many plant-based medicines complement drug-based treatments in a positive manner. Key benefits include improved efficacy, reduced adverse events, and sometimes reduced drug dose requirements.

Using specific herbal treatments concomitantly with mainstream treatment regimens in a properly regulated practice environment, creates proven synergy to improve patient outcomes. It also extends the reach of herbal medicine beyond the relatively small percentage of the population currently accessing them, and provides pharmaco-economic and wellness benefits to future generations.

Phil’s talk will summarise the scientific evidence for specific herbs as useful adjunctives when taken alongside conventional medical interventions and provide case studies which apply this in practice. His presentation will also address ethical, economical and health policy considerations, in making a case for recognition of medical herbalism as a valuable contributor to a healthier New Zealand.



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