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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 201329, 10 pages
Research Article

Prescription Pattern of Chinese Herbal Products for Diabetes Mellitus in Taiwan: A Population-Based Study

1Institute of Traditional Medicine, School of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, No. 155, Section 2, Linong Road, Taipei 112, Taiwan
2Department of Traditional Medicine, Wan Fang Hospital, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 11696, Taiwan
3Department of Chinese Medicine, Taipei City Hospital, Yangming Branch, Taipei 111, Taiwan
4Graduate Institute of Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, Taipei Medical University, No. 250, Wuxing Street, Taipei 11031, Taiwan

Received 23 December 2012; Revised 2 April 2013; Accepted 17 April 2013

Academic Editor: Srinivas Nammi

Copyright © 2013 Chung-Yu Huang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), when given as a therapy for symptom relief, has gained widespread popularity among diabetic patients. The aim of this study is to analyze the utilization of TCM among type 2 diabetic patients in Taiwan. Methods. The use of TCM for type 2 diabetic patients were evaluated using a randomly sampled cohort of 1,000,000 beneficiaries recruited from the National Health Insurance Research Database. Results. Overall, 77.9% of type 2 diabetic patients utilized TCM and 13.9% of them used TCM for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Among the top ten most frequently prescribed herbal formulae, four remedies, Zhi-Bo-Di-Huang-Wan, Qi-Ju-Di-Huang-Wan, Ji-Sheng-Shen-Qi-Wan and Ba-Wei-Di-Huang-Wan are derivative formulae of Liu-Wei-Di-Huang-Wan. In other words, Liu-Wei-Di-Huang-Wan and its derivatives were found to be the most common herbal formulae prescribed by TCM doctors for the treatment of diabetes in Taiwan. Conclusion. Although some evidence does support the use TCM to treat diabetes, the results from the current study may have been confounded by placebo effect, which emphasize the need for well conducted, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled studies in order to further evaluate the efficacy of Liu-Wei-Di-Huang-Wan on patients with type 2 diabetes.