Complementary Medicines, Advertising Reform and the TGA

21 November, 2018

by Dr Ken Harvey, with an introduction by Ken Greatorex

To set the scene for those not familiar with the glacial machinations of Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration: Until recently in Australia we had a complaint process whereby if you wanted to complain about the advertising of a particular listed medicine, you submitted. to the Complaints Resolution Panel. It was woefully under resourced, but it did its job, carried out inquiries then reported established breaches in conduct to the TGA. The TGA acted – sometimes.

Then things changed. Against the urging of such groups as The Australian Skeptics, Friends of Science in Medicine, Choice and other consumer advocates, the TGA became the body which dealt directly with such complaints. 

As one who attended and absorbed the excellent review from Professor Harvey and three of his students, the result of this change has been:

  • totally predictable
  • disappointing

 

(left to right: Mal Vickers, Kithmini Cooray, Mary Malek, Ken Harvey)

Speakers:

Discussion:

The audience did not agree that the ongoing advertising of ‘Bright Brains’, illustrated by Kithmini, had achieved compliance with the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code 2015. In short, they disagreed with the TGA outcome statement about this complaint. Read the rest of this entry »


Congratulations, Dr Ken Harvey

10 August, 2016

(reposted from AUSTRALIAN SKEPTICS INC website)

Ken-Harvey-vitamins

The Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science has awarded Dr Ken Harvey the 2016 ANZAAS Medal.

The medal is awarded annually for services for the advancement of science or administration and organisation of scientific activities, or the teaching of science throughout Australia and New Zealand and in contributions to science which lie beyond normal professional activities. Previous winners of the medal include Sir Gus Nossal, Sir Mark Oliphant and Harry Messel. Read the rest of this entry »


2016 Australian Skeptics Convention – Latest

29 June, 2016

Aus Skepticon2016 Try booking banner V2 900W (1)
AUSTRALIAN SKEPTICS NATIONAL CONVENTION 2016

is at The Carrillo Gantner Theatre, Sidney Myer Asia Centre, University of Melbourne from 25-27 November,

https://maps.unimelb.edu.au/parkville/building/158/carrillo_gantner

with the annual Dinner at

The Leopard Lodge, Melbourne Zoo on Saturday evening 26 November.

mz-function-rooms-1-web620

Early-bird ticket sales will cease on June 30.  Read the rest of this entry »


Dr Ken Harvey on the Radio – Chiropractic Advertising

13 September, 2015
Dr Ken Harvey

Dr Ken Harvey

By Mal Vickers

Dr Ken Harvey, a friend of the Vic Skeptics was recently interviewed on ABC Radio National. (play the interview below)

The subject up for discussion was advertising by chiropractic businesses. The interview was prompted by an article Dr Ken Harvey recently authored for the MJA (Australian Medical Journal).

In the article, Ken expresses his concerns that not much has changed in the last five years since the regulator, AHPRA (incorporating the Chiropractic Board of Australia, CBA), issued a warning via a newsletter for chiropractors to clean up their advertising.

AHPRA stated:

The Board asks all chiropractors to review their advertising including their websites as a priority to ensure that the content meets the advertising requirements of the National Law and the provisions of the Guidelines on Advertising. There are criminal penalties for breaching section 133 of the National Law, which is set out in the attachment to this communiqué.

AHPRA newsletter, Aug. 2010

Since then, a CBA statement has also reminded chiropractors about their advertising obligations “in more than six publications in the past three years…Read the rest of this entry »


Auskepcon 2012, Photos, Sunday

10 December, 2012

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Sunday’s Convention Photos

Sunday was another line up of excellent speakers, DJ Grothe, Dr Ken Harvey, Dr Rachael Dunlop, Stephen Mayne, Lawrence Leung, James “The Amazing” Randi and many more. Look carefully in this set of images for a certain life member and secretary of a state branch jamming with Paul Conroy on guitar.


Dr Ken Harvey Awarded CHOICE “Consumer Champion”

2 April, 2012

Congratulations to Dr Ken Harvey. The Australian Consumers Association has named Dr Ken Harvey as the CHOICE “Consumer Champion of 2012”.

It seems if there is a shonky medical product on sale, Dr Harvey knows about it and works tirelessly to highlight the problem to government authorities and the public at large; and to improve policy and regulation to reduce the harm and financial burden that shonky products impose on consumers.

The award is well deserved. The number of committees, policy groups and organisations on which Dr Harvey serves and is actively involved with is bewildering.

Most notably in the last twelve months, Dr Harvey was faced with a problem that every consumer advocate dreads facing. He was sued for defamation by the promoters of a slimming product called SensaSlim. He did not back down in his criticisms of the claims made for the product. Eventually Read the rest of this entry »


TGA, Dr Ken Harvey and SensaSlim News

6 March, 2012

by Mal Vickers

 OK I admit I’ve been somewhat critical of the TGA in the past. However, in the spirit of fairness, when they do something right, I think I should say – hurrah!

As of the 29th of February, the TGA website announced:

The TGA will be making a final decision on the weight loss product, the SUPPREXXA Hunger Buster kit, after consideration of material provided by the sponsor, Chika Health Pty Ltd, in support of the claims made about the kit.

(Insert sound of clapping)

The promoter’s claims under scrutiny are that the product will:

Assist Weight Loss, Decrease Hunger, Fight Fatigue, Stimulate Fat Burn and Improve Energy

The promoters also say it should be used:

…in conjunction with a healthy, energy controlled diet and exercise program.

To me, this looks like bait and switch advertising. Potential customers are seduced by the weight loss message, however, it may be that the only way weight is lost is by putting in the hard work with the diet and exercise program. Could potential customers simply not buy the kit (thereby saving $50) and Read the rest of this entry »