National Research Center in Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Norway


Vinjar Fonnebo

The Norwegian National Research Center in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NAFKAM) is organized as a center at The Faculty of Medicine, UiT The Arctic University of Norway.
Originally, NAFKAM was established by the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services, and is now funded by the Norwegian Directorate of Health.

The center promotes, implements and coordinates Norwegian research in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). The center emphasises multidisciplinary research. In addition NAFKAM is working with education, consultancy services, international and national cooperation/network building and information:

  • NAFKAM also runs the Norwegian health authorities' official information web site; providing the Norwegian population with unbiased, evidence-based information about CAM, and is meant to contribute to higher patient safety. In addition, the Norwegian Directorate of Health has given NAFKAM the task of monitoring the Norwegian health market for "any new trends within CAM and self-care, which may threaten patient safety"; and to report any such findings to the health authorities.
  • The Registry of Exceptional Courses of Disease (RESF) is a Scandinavian registry run by NAFKAM. The registry collects and systematizes information from patients' own good or bad experiences and courses of disease after using CAM.
  • National regulation, supervision and reimbursement of CAM differ substantially from country to country. These differences are large enough to put patient safety at risk. With the oncoming of patients travelling abroad and seeking treatment outside their own country, unbiased and country-specific information about CAM regulation, supervision and reimbursement is important. NAFKAM has collected information on these subjects from European countries, arranged it into a database, and made it available on an open-access web site called CAM Regulation.
  • NAFKAM was designated as a WHO Collaborating Centre for Traditional Medicine in 2008.


NAFKAMs objectives are to give an understanding of alternative medicine as a system or as concrete alternative medical methods, and how it as such can contribute to the reduction and/or the shortening of diseases or experiences of diseases, to the improvement of the quality of life and to strengthen the ability to manage diseases.