In December 2015, two Monash summer vacation scholarship students helped me work up a complaint to the Pharmacy Board of Australia. The complaint alleged professional misconduct by IV clinic pharmacist, Shadi Kazeme.
The IV.me Hydration Clinic was based at a medical clinic in South Yarra, Victoria with the support of Dr O’Gorman, director and general practitioner. It subsequently expanded to Holdsworth House Medical Practice in Sydney in a clinic run by Dr Quan and partners. Shadi Kazeme was the pharmacist and clinic director.
The clinics promoted a range of IV infusions with claims which we alleged breached Section 133 of the National Law and also the Code of Conduct Pharmacy Board of Australia. Treatments (and claims) included:
- Rejuvenate.ME ($249), “contains a high dose of Glutathione as well as a number of other vitamins”, a “very popular anti‐ageing remedy that produces fast results”. “The detoxifying properties in this infusion helps to cleanse the body’s vital organs”.
- Energise.ME ($289), “based on the famous Myer’s Cocktail”, “contains a carefully balanced blend of vitamins, detox agents and energy supplements with a hit of the anti‐aging Glutathione that floods the body putting your electrolytes back into equilibrium”.
Some publicity ensured:
- Pharmacist Shadi Kazeme under fire over intravenous vitamin drips.
- Top doctors make official complaints about IV ‘hydration’ clinics offering vitamin drips
- Suspended ‘hydration clinic’ pharmacist Sara Shadi Kazeme still operating in Victoria
Over four years later, on March 19, 2020 the Civil and Administrative Tribunal New South Wales found Shadi Kazeme guilty of unsatisfactory professional conduct and professional misconduct.
The Tribunal found that the practitioner posed a substantial risk to the health of members of the public and accordingly ordered that the practitioner is prohibited from providing health services offering intravenous infusions, intramuscular injections and other forms of injectables of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other similar products, for the period until she obtains a reinstatement order under Division 8 of Part of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (NSW) or its equivalent, or is re-registered as a health practitioner.
The practitioner was ordered to pay the Health Care Complaints Commission’s costs of these proceedings pursuant to clause 13(1) of Schedule 5D of the Health Practitioner Registration National Law (NSW) as agreed or as assessed under the Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Act 2014 (NSW).
See also: ‘Banned from practice until November 2021‘.
The judgement was silent on the claims made for the infusions offered, but numerous other clinics currently offer similar IV drip treatment and make similar claims that lack scientific evidence. More complaints have been submitted.
These cases raise the question as to why regulators can’t take faster action to protect the public from the fraudulent claims made by IV drip clinics.by