2005N-0354 Consumer-Directed Promotion of Regulated Medical Products; Part 15 Public Hearing
FDA Comment Number : EC207
Submitter : Mr. Andrew Macdonald Date & Time: 12/07/2005 06:12:42
Organization : Mr. Andrew Macdonald
Category : International Public Citizen
Issue Areas/Comments
By Eve Hillary

I?m a health writer. I track the sickness industry. I watch while powerful vested interests infiltrate governments of sovereign nations. Lately I?d been busy with some other issues and nearly missed a hat trick that was being performed by Australian politicians that would remove freedom of choice from the community. I discovered it just in time when an article came across my desk entitled ?The Codex threat to Australia ? fact or fiction?? written by Raymond Khoury who sourced his information from a few government websites. He opined that the Codex issue was merely hype and nonsense and nothing much for Aussies or anybody else in the world to worry about. His article was published by the Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS), an organisation that represents 10,000 complementary health practitioners who expect their professional association to provide them with clear information about supplements, their stock in trade.

Later I discovered the article?s author, Mr. Khoury was the editor of the ATMS Journal for natural therapists, while at the same time he regularly sat on a TGA committee called the Interim Advertising Council. While it is unfair to hold Mr. Khoury responsible for the determinations of this committee it is noteworthy that this TGA committee has, along with several pharmaceutical front organisations such as the Medicines Australia and the Self-Medication Industry set up an official advertising code that so blatantly serves drug company corporate interests that even the AMA objects to it on the grounds that ?the process is occurring against a backdrop of enormous pressure?from pharmaceutical companies and others to open up to direct consumer advertising?. (24, 20)

(20) http://www.tga.health.gov.au/tta/advtt.htm
(24) AMA public submission document to the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties inquiry into the Agreement between Australia and New Zealand for the establishment of a Joint Scheme for the regulation of therapeutic products. 30th April, 2004, by Dr. Robyn Napier, Representative of the AMA on Trans Tasman interim advertising council.