Confidence, vaccines, variants, and more…

FSM News and Articles

Can we have confidence in the Therapeutic Goods Administration? There are only two TGA checks on the regulation of listed products: a small number of post-marketing surveillance reviews [1.6% of market] and the advertising complaint system. Of reviewed products 75% are ‘consistently’ found to be non-compliant. Products removed are merely relisted or replaced with similar products. There are now over 10,000 listed medicines (mainly complementary medicines) on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG), with around 2000 new listings each year. […] The TGA’s yearly income from listed products is around $13.3 million. […] But in return, consumers are not protected from products that don’t work, nor rampant unethical promotion from an exploitative industry.

The TGA dealt with an increasing backlog of complaints by ceasing to deal with individual complaints. […] As a result, the TGA now ignores most complaints about unethical advertisements and fails to apply timely and significant penalties to most Code breaches. Given this, it is not surprising that the confidence of GPs and consumers in the TGA’s regulation of complementary medicines is low. Recent decisions by the TGA reported above, are likely to reduce this confidence even further.

My fellow over-60s, you need to be vaccinated. Yesterday. Your vaccine is available, abundant … and safe: Take-up of the Astra Zeneca vaccine among over 60s has been disappointing. FSM’s John Dwyer weighs in. “About one person among 250,000 people vaccinated with the AZ vaccine will develop a problem wherein they develop blood clots in blood vessels. Most people with this complication recover spontaneously. About one in a million has died from the complication. The good news is that we now understand the cause of the problem and have very effective treatments for the condition. That, unfortunately, has received little publicity. And, by the way, the risk of thrombosis associated with an actual COVID infection is about 39 per million.”

FSM Friends’ News and Articles

The Delta Variant: “UK data also show that those infected with the delta variant are more likely to be hospitalized with their illness, so it appears to cause a more serious infection. However, almost all of those admitted to the hospital with the delta variant have not been vaccinated. Two doses of the mRNA vaccines prevent hospitalization by about 90%.”


How can younger Australians decide about the AstraZeneca vaccine? A GP explains: Recent discussion on availability of the AZ vaccine to under 40s has been confusing at best. Currently, the risk/benefit analysis to the individual and Australia’s level of COVID-19 doesn’t really favour young people getting this vaccine, however it’s also important to consider that the risk-benefit analysis changes if we consider a larger outbreak than we have seen in Australia so far, and that vaccination significantly reduces your chances of spreading to others as well. If you are under 40, are you considering getting the AZ vaccine?

Great Moments in Health and Science 

The evolution of hip replacements – A patent history: In those with severe bone disease, such as arthritis, hip replacements can help improve function, pain and independence. They were once made of ivory!