Monash SPHPM Summer Vacation Scholars Program 2015

I’ve worked with two students undertaking this program over the last four weeks: Amy Yan & Ned Latham. We:

  • Reviewed the 19 recommendations of the Expert Review of Medicines and Medical Devices Regulation – Complementary Medicines (Chapter Nine) in preparation for my attendance at the Department of Health’s Stakeholder Forum held in Sydney  on December 8-9, 2015.
  • Critically appraised the promotion of Pharmacare’s Ease-a-Cold product and published an article in “The Conversation” about this, the regulatory deficiencies that allow such promotion and the views expressed at the Stakeholders Forum on the Expert Review recommendations.
  • Reviewed two Australian web sites that are promoting intravenous (IV) vitamins to the general public: iv.me hydration clinic and the hangover clinic. Complaints to AHPRA are in progress.
  • Analysed the outcome of 10 representative complaints sent to the AHPRA Chiropractors Board over 3 months ago, involving 38 chiropractors and 69 claims. A letter to the Board (and the ACCC) about the results (and the deficiencies of the complaint process) is currently being finalised.
  • Reviewed a number of websites promoting homeopathic products in the light of previous upheld determinations by the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Complaint Resolution Panel (TGACRP) and failure of the TGA to respond to additional complaints. A letter about these matters is currently being finalised with support from Friends of Science in Medicine, the Consumers Health Forum, Choice, Australian Skeptics and the Doctors Reform Society.

All the above involved the bread and butter of public health work: analysing regulatory deficiencies that allow unethical business practices, submitting complaints to highlight problems and advocating for regulatory reform.

 

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About Dr Ken Harvey

Public Health Physician, Medical activitist
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