FSM News and Articles
TGA fines Chemist Warehouse: Several discount chemists were fined recently for advertising products that were deregistered from the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods – namely, weight loss pills ‘Fatblaster’ and ‘Fatblaster Clinical’. Current law dictates that a cancelled therapeutic good cannot be advertised, imported, exported or manufactured, though remaining stocks can continue to be sold until they run out.
Hangover products still advertised despite complaints and lack of evidence: Why doesn’t the TGA do its job? Complaints have been made to the TGA about a number of invalid ‘Hangover Cures’ being advertised and sold in Australia. “Hangover products are still advertised, despite complaints and lack of evidence. This has occurred even though hangover cures are said to be priority 2 (after COVID-19) on the TGA’s list of advertising compliance priorities. While some products had minor changes made to their claims, the overall impact was minimal.”
Advertisers also seem quite able to make an end run around regulation and evidence requirements by using testimonials to make claims, or by using the weasel words “Traditionally used in Chinese medicine”. Complaints are closed with minimalistic statements that “the information you provided will be used to inform the TGA’s [approach]. There little to no transparency in the handling of these complaints. Even when a product is removed from the ARTG, there appears to be no action taken when products continue to be advertised (illegally).
According to the TGA “As part of the Department of Health, the TGA safeguards and enhances the health of the Australian community through effective and timely regulation of therapeutic goods. The Therapeutic Goods Administration … is responsible for regulating therapeutic goods including prescription medicines, vaccines, sunscreens, vitamins and minerals, medical devices, blood and blood products.”
So why doesn’t the TGA do anything when a product is shown to be non-compliant? “In conclusion, hangover products are still advertised, despite complaints and lack of evidence for their claims. These advertisements breach the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code, encourage excessive alcohol use and are a serious risk to public health. The TGA should act.”
Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine Safety: “The numbers being reported for various kinds of blood clots are still at these background rates, or even lower – especially given that those getting the vaccines first are in high risk groups who have a higher background rate of blood clots than the general population… The experts are all in agreement here – the reported events are likely background events not related to the vaccine, and in any case the benefits of getting vaccinated still vastly outweigh any potential risks.”
Today’s Abused Health Concept
Medicinal cannabis to manage chronic pain? We don’t have evidence it works: There is a common perception that cannabis products are effective at managing chronic pain thanks to popular public support for the idea. For non-cancer pain, the evidence seems to show the opposite. This has led expert groups The International Association for the Study of Pain and the Faculty of Pain Medicine to recommend against medical cannabis for non cancer pain, identifying it as ‘low value health care”. This is in direct opposition to the myths often promoted by medical cannabis proponents. “The authors are essentially saying most of the studies are too poorly done, using unsuitable methods, to give any answer to the most basic question of whether medicinal cannabis helps with pain. The Faculty of Pain Medicine has a track record of advocacy for pain patients… If medicinal cannabis was truly as potentially valuable as often claimed, we would be the loudest voice in favour of wider access. The weight of evidence points us away from this conclusion.”
Great Moments in Health and Science
The use of insulin treatment for type 1 diabetes – The history of a wonderful thing we call insulin: From animal insulin to modern synthetic human insulin, this life-saving treatment has allowed people who often died before adulthood to lead long and fulfilling lives.
Lesser-known Health Professions
Dosimetrist/Radiation Therapist: Radiation therapists provide radiation treatments that help individuals with cancer and other types of illnesses or diseases. They explain radiation to patients, protect them while administering treatments, calibrate and maintain machines, and keep records of the treatments that have been received.