HAIAP member and Monash University Associate Professor Ken Harvey AM is the new President of Friends of Science in Medicine (FSM).
He provided the following comments for HAIAP.
Three founding members of FSM stood down from the executive this year. They are our past President Emeritus Prof John Dwyer, past Vice-president, Emeritus Prof Alastair MacLennan and past Treasurer Prof Marcello Costa. They have kindly offered to continue their involvement as consultants.
FSM was formed in 2011. It has grown to become a major critic of unscientific health practices and fraudulent health claims. It has advised governments and media, made numerous submissions to inquiries and provided extensive public advice concerning dubious health claims and practices. It successfully advocated the removal of private health insurance taxpayer-funded rebates from ‘natural’ therapies that lacked evidence of efficacy.
Valuing scientific rigor is especially important in 2019 where unsubstantiated health claims are rampant and scientific consensus is ‘imbalanced’ by the views of extremists.
FSM campaigns against the unethical promotion of therapeutic goods and services to consumers. We critique unproven and exploitative services offered by medical practitioners, such as the infusion of intravenous vitamins and chelation therapy. We are equally concerned about Traditional Chinese Medical Practitioners claiming that acupuncture can treat infertility or Naturopaths advocating homeopathy.
We encourage tertiary institutions and students of medicine and health sciences to critically appraise therapeutic products and services as part of the courses offered. Complementary medicine provides a fertile field for students to assess the often-outrageous claims made and report regulatory breaches.
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HAIAP – New Head for Australian Health Watchdog