July, 2015

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Making the case for registration of naturopaths

, Jul 15, 2015

Should naturopaths be registered? It’s a controversial debate that’s hit the headlines again recently, following the near-death of a baby in Sydney. Dr Jon Wardle, from the Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine at the University of Technology Sydney, who has been taking plenty of media calls on this question, argues below that […]
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Out-of-Pocket Inquiry Report – filling a major policy vacuum

, Aug 31, 2014

On 22 August the Senate Community Affairs Committee released the report of its Inquiry into Out-of-Pocket costs in Australian health care.  This is a comprehensive document, which comprehensively addresses a long-neglected area of health policy and highlights the inequity and inefficiency of our current approach to out-of-pocket costs in the Australian health system.   The Committee […]

The Health Wrap: What the evidence uncovered; reaching out to vaccine skeptics; health funding waiting games

, Apr 22, 2014

By Kellie Bisset What the evidence uncovered Evidence has turned the tables on two issues this past fortnight: whether our multimillion national investment in antiviral drugs is justified; and whether significant spending on alternative treatments such as homeopathy is a good use of money. First, to antiviral drugs, and the release of a Cochrane Review […]

End of the road for homeopathy?

, Apr 09, 2014

A new report from the NHMRC regarding the evidence base for homeopathy raises questions regarding the funding of a range of homeopathic treatments.  Many thanks to Loretta Marron, CEO, Friends of Science in Medicine for this overview. Will homeopathy finally disappear into history?  The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) “concludes that the assessment […]

Who uses complementary and alternative therapies in regional South Australia?

, Jul 09, 2013

The use of complementary and alternative therapies in people with chronic diseases is an under-researched area, despite the fact that these therapies can interact with mainstream health treatment, such as prescription medicines. The latest column from PHCRIS (the Primary Health Care Research and Information Service) outlines the findings of a new study into complementary and […]

The latest news in primary health care research – from the role of complementary meds to global health matters

, Oct 17, 2012

The latest articles profiled by the Primary Health Care Research & Information Service include: • A study suggesting that patients with chronic conditions value the sense of control they gain from using complementary and alternative medicines • Five suggestions for how primary health care researchers can boost global health. *** How patients use complementary and […]

The Federal Budget and health: what’s on the table (or not)

, May 08, 2012

Below is a short summary of items related to tonight’s Federal Budget and health: what is promised/likely; what has been asked for; and what seems to be missing. What is promised/likely in the federal budget • Expansion of the national bowel cancer screening program (Some reaction to this will follow in the next post.) • […]
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All the latest news on excessive testing and treatment – the Naked Doctor strikes again

, Apr 10, 2012

An important campaign has just been launched in the US, with the backing of nine medical societies and several consumer groups, to encourage doctors and patients to identify tests and treatments that may not be necessary. As part of the ABIM Foundation’s Choosing Wisely campaign, this website lists tests and procedures identified by medical societies as commonly […]

Is the TGA out to lunch? Ken Harvey on the weight loss pill that lets you “have the cake without the calories”

, Feb 23, 2012

The Therapeutic Goods Administration’s response to concerns about the marketing of a weight-loss pill, which lets you “have the cake without the calories”, suggests that the many reviews and promises of reform have not resulted in real change at the much-critiqued organisation, according to Dr Ken Harvey, Adjunct Assoc Prof of Public Health at La Trobe University. […]

Assault on alternative medicine: worthwhile or witch-hunt?

, Feb 23, 2012

The fight over the teaching of complementary medicines by Australian universities has drawn international coverage, including this piece by the New York Times. In his latest column in this week’s BMJ, Australian journalist Ray Moynihan talks with some of the key protagonists. Ray Moynihan writes: The campaign by the Friends of Science in Medicine to shut down […]

Latest wrap of health and medical reading from The Conversation

, Feb 07, 2012

Thanks to Fron Jackson-Webb for providing this latest wrap of reading from The Conversation (http://theconversation.edu.au/). It includes articles about universities teaching complementary medicine, the Medicare Safety Net, new research on caesarean sections, e-prescriptions and hospital errors, and urban development. You can also read an article from The Conversation’s editor, Andrew Jaspan, on mining magnate Gina […]

A rather large wrap of recent Croakey articles: public health, health reform, media coverage of health and more

, Jan 11, 2012

As previously mentioned, Croakey readers are welcome to sign up for (rather irregular) summaries of posts. If you’d like to join the mailing list, please send your email or leave it below. Here is the latest compilation, covering from 6 October – December 23, 2011. The latest readership figures are now also available, showing that […]

The backlash against universities offering complementary medicine courses

, Dec 09, 2011

Loretta Marron writes: Like to be a ‘doctor’? Interested in ‘new age’ medicine? Maybe you want to go to Uni but your entrance score is not up to scratch.  Don’t give up!  Why not check out your local college and see what’s on offer as there just may be a course tailor-made for you. Nearly […]

Some VERY interesting reading: on the TGA, Ken Harvey, and pertinent questions for public health advocates

, Dec 08, 2011

Thanks to Australian Doctor for sharing a most informative Ministerial brief on the Government’s response to recent reviews recommending reforms of the TGA (it can be downloaded here, and is worth reading for many reasons, not least for the insights it gives into government processes and communications, as well as regulatory complexities and challenges). Over […]

Latest health and medical news from The Conversation

, Oct 25, 2011

Continuing a series of regular updates of health and medical reading at The Conversation… Thanks to Reema Rattan for providing this summary, which covers articles about the safety of vitamin supplements, health financing, humane approaches to preventing crime, disability services, ghostwriting of research articles, patenting of stem cell inventions, and the latest legal developments in […]

Consumers need much better information about complementary medicines

, Oct 23, 2011

We’ve already heard buckets of criticism of the deal between the Pharmacy Guild and Blackmores, which would have seen pharmacists prompted to promote Blackmores products as “companions” to certain popular medications. In the article below (first published in Medical Observer), Dr Ken Harvey, Adjunct Senior Lecturer, School of Public Health at La Trobe University, looks […]

Statement from Australian Skeptics on the Ken Harvey and SensaSlim cases

, Oct 14, 2011

As previously mentioned, Australian Skeptics launched a fund-raising drive earlier this year to help public health advocate Dr Ken Harvey cover legal costs arising from action by SensaSlim Australia. An update comes from this press release: Australian Skeptics are pleased to announce that some hundreds of members of the skeptical community have banded together to […]

Some reaction to the news on the Pharmacy Guild and Blackmores

, Oct 06, 2011

Some pithy comments have already landed on the previous post covering the canning of the controversial deal between the Pharmacy Guild and Blackmores, which would have seen pharmacists prompted to promote Blackmores products as “companions” to certain popular medications. Here is some more reaction: from Dr Ken Harvey, the  National Prescribing Service and Senator Richard […]

Pharmacy Guild deal with Blackmores ends in tears

, Oct 06, 2011

Some extremely interesting conversations must have been occurring behind closed doors in pharmacy-land, in the wake of the disastrous deal between the Pharmacy Guild and Blackmores. According to a Guild statement reproduced in full below, the deal – for pharmacists’ computer systems to prompt them to discuss Blackmores products with patients picking up a prescription […]

A wrap of recent health news at Croakey

, Oct 05, 2011

Hola – I am back on deck. A large thanks to Jennifer Doggett for driving Croakey while I was away, and to Ben Harris-Roxas for looking after the Twitter feed. As previously mentioned, Croakey readers are welcome to sign up for (rather irregular) summaries of posts. If you’d like to join the mailing list, please […]