New Zealand bans vaginal mesh implants

The Guardian, 13 December 2017
Author: Hannah Devlin
“New Zealand has become the first major country to effectively ban vaginal mesh implants in response to safety concerns over the surgery. The country’s Ministry of Health announced on Monday that it had written to leading mesh suppliers asking them to stop marketing the products from January – or prove that their products are safe.”
Find article here.

ACCC sues Voltaren makers GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis for misleading consumers

SMH, 6 December 2017
Author: Esther Han
“Two pharma giants have been taken to the Federal Court for allegedly misleading osteoarthritis sufferers into paying 33 per cent more for a “more effective” product that offers “targeted relief”, when this was not the case.”
Find article here.

Australian-first with corporation fined $127,500 for unlawful advertising

AHPRA, 4 October 2017
“In an Australian-first, Wellness Enterprises Pty Limited, which traded as Australian Male Hormone Clinic, has been fined $127,500 plus costs after being found guilty and convicted of 17 charges related to unlawful advertising of regulated health services.”
Find article here.

 

Direct-to-Consumer Medical Testing in the Era of Value-Based Care

JAMA. 2017; 317(24): 2485-2486.
Author: Kimberly Lovett Rockwell
“This Viewpoint documents the growing market share of direct-to-consumer (DTC) medical testing despite growing recognition that it represents low-value or harmful care and proposes policy options to increase accountability and protect patients from adverse consequences of DTC testing.”
Find article here.

Pharmaceutical Marketing for Rare Diseases: Regulating Drug Company Promotion in an Era of Unprecedented Advertisement

JAMA. 2017; 317(24): 2479-2480.
Authors: Sham Mailankody, Vinay Prasad
“This Viewpoint uses the recent instance of disease awareness promotion on a television soap opera to discuss questions about the role and regulation of novel forms of direct-to-consumer disease awareness marketing.”
Find article here.

Responsible advertising of health services: Practitioners reminded about their legal obligations on advertising

AHPRA, 21 April 2017
“The National Boards and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) published a strategy for the National Scheme today to help keep health service consumers safe from misleading advertising. The Advertising compliance and enforcement strategy for the National Scheme explains how National Boards and AHPRA will manage advertising complaints and compliance, including the regulatory powers available to deal with breaches of the National Law.”
Find media release and strategy here.

Direct-to-consumer advertising of success rates for medically assisted reproduction: a review of national clinic websites

BMJ Open 2017; 7:e012218.
Authors: Wilkinson J, Vail A, Roberts SA
“Direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs is permitted only in the USA and New Zealand. However, concerns that direct advertising drives demand for more expensive, rather than more effective, treatments do not extend to bans on direct advertising of other medical practices.”
Find article here.

Dodgy claims for complementary medicines? Here’s how the drug watchdog could have more bite

The Conversation, 19 December 2016
Authors: Ken Harvey, Sasha Hall, Tiana Moutafis
“Complementary medicine suppliers are getting away with breaching advertising requirements because Australia’s medicines regulatory authority has no bite, new data confirms. This means consumers can have little confidence in advertising claims for listed medicines, mainly complementary medicines like herbal, vitamin and mineral supplements.”
Find article here.