News: 13-19 Feb 2017

Australian researchers find stem cell breast cancer connection:  Australian researchers have discovered stem cells in the breast that may be linked to a high-risk form of breast cancer.

The three questions that every patient should ask their doctor: Every patient should ask of every new proposed drug or intervention 3 questions:What are my options?; What are the specific benefits and harms to me?; What happens if I do nothing? If patients asked these questions more often and doctors took it upon themselves to answer faithfully, medicine might yet experience a new dawn.

Moves to scrap cover for natural therapies set to fail: While insurers privately argue that covering natural therapies attracts younger, healthier members­, whose premiums are needed to offset the costs of older mem­bers, there are broader concerns­ that health dollars are simply being wasted.

Plan to help us decipher which vitamins and herbal remedies actually work:  The Therapeutic Goods Administration is looking to reform regulation on complementary medicines so consumers have a better understanding of whether the billions we spend on them is giving us any health benefit.

A closer look at Australia’s most popular supplements: An investigation on Four Corners focuses on the role chemists play in the selling and promotion of supplements. It highlights concerns from many in the medical profession that chemists are lending a halo effect to treatments for which there is often little evidence of effectiveness, and question marks over safety.

Complementary medicines with unproven benefits being sold to Australian consumers: Nearly a third of Australian pharmacists are recommending complementary medicine products that are not supported by evidence that they work.

Vitamin vending machines hit Australia: People can purchase vitamins, perfumes, medicines, soft drink and more from vending machines that have opened in Melbourne.

Spotting a slot in the market led to Australia’s first vending-machine-only shop: Thirteen vending machines. No shop assistants, no managers. Open 24 hours a day. Monitored by the store’s CCTV on a mobile phone.

Chiropractor found guilty of making false claims of curing cancer:  A New South Wales chiropractor has been convicted of false advertising after he claimed to be able to prevent, treat and cure cancer in his advertising.

Vic Skeptics reveal dangerous products on sale at Melbourne Hospital: Victorian Skeptics committee member Peter Hogan and president Chris Guest have revealed that a dangerous homeopathic teething product was available at Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital.