NG v Chinese Medicine Board of Australia [2017] NSWCATOD 36

Decision date: 15 March 2017
“PROFESSIONS AND TRADES – Where health practitioner has appealed against conditions placed on her registration – where the Chinese Medical Board concedes an error in imposing conditions and has caused removal of conditions from the Register maintained by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency –
Whether appeal is frivolous or vexatious or misconceived or lacking in substance – Consideration of objects of Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013 (NSW) and of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law – whether dismissal of appeal would deny appellant procedural fairness. Where continuation of appeal will not result in a practical outcome.”
Find case here.

Swisse cheese: there are too many holes in complementary medicine regulations already

The Conversation, 22 March 2017
Author: Michael Vagg
“Swisse is by no means the only vitamin company to have issues with truth in advertising. Blackmores is another Australian brand with overseas ambitions. They are pushing into the enormous Chinese supplement market, and apparently not letting trivial things like fines for false advertising get in the way of a surging share price. The essential problem here for manufacturers is that they simply have to mislead to sell their product, and our therapeutic claims regulatory code inconveniently forbids this.”
Find article here.

Strong regulation is healthy for complementary medicines

SMH, 21 March 2017
Author: Editorial
“The vitamin and supplement giant Swisse has asked to be liberated from federal government oversight of its advertising claims. When promoting its products, it wants to be spared the scrutiny of the Therapeutic Goods Administration and be subject instead to an industry-funded self-regulation system administered by the Advertising Standards Bureau.”
Find article here.

First licence granted for commercially grown medicinal cannabis in Australia

Dept of Health, 8 March 2017
“Access to medicinal cannabis has taken another major step forward today with first licence being granted for an Australian company to grow and harvest medicinal cannabis. This major development will lead to improved access to domestically produced medicinal cannabis products for Australian patients.”
Find media release here.

How traditional medicine can play a key role in Latino health care

The Conversation, 5 March 2017
Author: Courtney Parker
“In the U.S., many undocumented individuals and other vulnerable groups in the Latino immigrant population, such as indigenous language speakers, are already marginalized from mainstream health services. Traditional or indigenous medicine, commonly referred to as TM, can bridge some of these barriers to health care because their methods stem from the unique values, cultural systems and specific health needs of these populations. In its latest report on traditional medicine, WHO acknowledges TM as a “mainstay of health and health care delivery.””
Find article here.

Recreational Cannabis — Minimizing the Health Risks from Legalization

N Engl J Med 2017; 376:705-707
Author: Beau Kilmer
“The cannabis-policy landscape is undergoing dramatic change. Although many jurisdictions have removed criminal penalties for possessing small amounts of cannabis and more than half of U.S. states allow physicians to recommend it to patients, legalizing the supply and possession of cannabis for nonmedical purposes is a very different public policy. Since the November 2016 election, 20% of the U.S. population lives in states that have passed ballot initiatives to allow companies to sell cannabis for any reason and adults 21 or older to purchase it. Although other states may move toward legalization, uncertainty abounds because of the federal prohibition on cannabis.”
Find article here.

White house expects justice crackdown on legalized marijuana

Associated Press, 23 February 2017
Author: Sadie Gurman
“The Justice Department will step up enforcement of federal law against recreational marijuana, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Thursday, offering the Trump administration’s strongest indication to date of a looming crackdown on the drug, even as a solid majority of Americans believe it should be legal.”
Find article here.

Unproven alternative medicines recommended by third of Australian pharmacists

The Guardian, 13 February 2017
Author: Melissa Davey
“Nearly one third of pharmacists are recommending complementary and alternative medicines with little-to-no evidence for their efficacy, including useless homeopathic products and potentially harmful herbal products.”
Find article here.

Health Care Complaints Commission v Liu [2017] NSWCATOD 18

Decision date: 27 January 2017
“The Respondent is a practitioner of Chinese medicine registered under the National Law. The enquiry is into an application and complaint against the Respondent made in accordance with sections 39(2) and 90B(3) of the Health Care Complaints Act 1993 and section 145A of the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (“The National Law”).”
Find decision here.