s Ken Harvey - His Mission is to be Controversial | I2P: Information to Pharmacists - Archive
Publication Date 01/07/2014         Volume. 6 No. 6   
Information to Pharmacists

Editorial

From the desk of the editor

Welcome to the July 2014 homepage edition of i2P (Information to Pharmacists) E-Magazine.
At the commencement of 2014 i2P focused on the need for the entire profession of pharmacy and its associated industry supports to undergo a renewal and regeneration.
We are now half-way through this year and it is quite apparent that pharmacy leaders do not yet have a cohesive and clear sense of direction.
Maybe the new initiative by Woolworths to deliver clinical service through young pharmacists and nurses may sharpen their focus.
If not, community pharmacy can look forward to losing a substantial and profitable market share of the clinical services market.
Who would you blame when that happens?
But I have to admit there is some effort, even though the results are but meagre.
In this edition of i2P we focus on the need for research about community pharmacy, the lack of activity from practicing pharmacists and when some research is delivered, a disconnect appears in its interpretation and implementation.

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News Flash

Newsflash Updates for July 2014

Newsflash Updates

Regular weekly updates that supplement the regular monthly homepage edition of i2P. 
Access and click on the title links that are illustrated

Comments: 1

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Feature Contribution

Woolworths Pharmacy - Getting One Stage Closer

Neil Johnston

It started with “tablet” computers deployed on shelves inside the retailer Coles, specifically to provide information to consumers relating to pain management and the sale of strong analgesics.
This development was reported in i2P under the title Coles Pharmacy Expansion and the Arid PGA Landscape”
In that article we reported that qualified information was a missing link that had come out of Coles market research as the reason to why it had not succeeded in dominating the pain market.
Of course, Woolworths was working on the same problem at the same time and had come up with a better solution - real people with good information.

Comments: 5

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Intensive Exposition without crossing over with a supermarket

Fiona Sartoretto Verna AIAPP

Editor's Note: The understanding of a pharmacy's presentation through the research that goes into the design of fixtures and fittings that highlight displays, is a never-ending component of pharmacy marketing.
Over the past decade, Australian pharmacy shop presentations have fallen behind in standards of excellence.
It does not take rocket science - you just have to open your eyes.
Recently, our two major supermarkets, Woolworths and Coles, have entered into the field of drug and condition information provision - right into the heartland of Australian Pharmacy.

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The sure way to drive business away

Gerald Quigley

I attended the Pregnancy, Baby and Children’s Expo in Brisbane recently.
What an eye and ear opening event that was!
Young Mums, mature Mums, partners of all ages, grandparents and friends……...many asking about health issues and seeking reassurances that they were doing the right thing.

Comments: 1

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‘Marketing Based Medicine’ – how bad is it?

Baz Bardoe

It should be the scandal of the century.
It potentially affects the health of almost everyone.
Healthcare providers and consumers alike should be up in arms. But apart from coverage in a few credible news sources the problem of ‘Marketing Based Medicine,’ as psychiatrist Dr Peter Parry terms it, hasn’t as yet generated the kind of universal outrage one might expect.

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Community Pharmacy Research - Are You Involved?

Mark Coleman

Government funding is always scarce and restricted.
If you are ever going to be a recipient of government funds you will need to fortify any application with evidence.
From a government perspective, this minimises risk.
I must admit that while I see evidence of research projects being managed by the PGA, I rarely see community pharmacists individually and actively engaged in the type of research that would further their own aims and objectives (and survival).

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Organisational Amnesia and the Lack of a Curator Inhibits Cultural Progress

Neil Johnston

Most of us leave a tremendous impact on pharmacies we work for (as proprietors, managers, contractors or employees)—in ways we’re not even aware of.
But organisational memories are often all too short, and without a central way to record that impact and capture the knowledge and individual contributions, they become lost to time.
It is ironic that technology has provided us with phenomenal tools for communication and connection, but much of it has also sped up our work lives and made knowledge and memory at work much more ephemeral.

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Academics on the payroll: the advertising you don't see

Staff Writer

This article was first published in The Conversation and was written by Wendy Lipworth, University of Sydney and Ian Kerridge, University of Sydney
In the endless drive to get people’s attention, advertising is going ‘native’, creeping in to places formerly reserved for editorial content. In this Native Advertising series we find out what it looks like, if readers can tell the difference, and more importantly, whether they care.
i2P has republished the article as it supports our own independent and ongoing investigations on how drug companies are involved in marketing-based medicine rather than evidence-based medicine.

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I’ve been thinking about admitting wrong.

Mark Neuenschwander

Editor's Note: This is an early article by Mark Neuenschwander we have republished after the soul-searching surrounding a recent Australian dispensing error involving methotrexate.
Hmm. There’s more than one way you could take that, huh? Like Someday when I get around to it (I’m not sure) I may admit that I was wrong about something. Actually, I’ve been thinking about the concept of admitting wrong. So don’t get your hopes up. No juicy confessions this month except that I wish it were easier for me to admit when I have been wrong or made a mistake.
Brian Goldman, an ER physician from Toronto, is host of the award-winning White Coat, Black Art on CBC Radio and slated to deliver the keynote at The unSUMMIT for Bedside Barcoding in Anaheim this May. His TED lecture, entitled, “Doctors make mistakes. Can we talk about it?” had already been viewed by 386,072 others before I watched it last week.

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Dispensing errors – a ripple effect of damage

Kay Dunkley - BPharm, Grad Dip Hosp Pharm, Grad Dip Health Admin, MPS, MSHPA

Most readers will be aware of recent publicity relating to dispensing errors and in particular to deaths caused by methotrexate being incorrectly packed in dose administration aids.
The Pharmacy Board of Australia (PBA), in its Communique of 13 June 2014, described a methotrexate packing error leading to the death of a patient and noted “extra vigilance is required to be exercised by pharmacists with these drugs”.
This same case was reported by A Current Affair (ACA) in its program on Friday 20 June
http://aca.ninemsn.com.au/article/8863098/prescription-drug-warning

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Take a vacation from your vocation

Harvey Mackay

Have you ever had one of those days when all you could think was, “Gosh, do I need a vacation.”
Of course you have – because all work and no play aren’t good for anyone.
A vacation doesn’t have to be two weeks on a tropical island, or even a long weekend at the beach. 
A vacation just means taking a break from your everyday activities. 
A change of pace. 
It doesn’t matter where.
Everyone needs a vacation to rejuvenate mentally and physically. 
But did you also know that you can help boost our economy by taking some days off? 
Call it your personal stimulus package.

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Explainer: what is peer review?

Staff Writer

This article was first published in the Conversation. It caught our eye because "peer review" it is one of the standards for evidence-based medicines that has also been corrupted by global pharma.
The article is republished by i2P as part of its ongoing investigation into scientific fraud and was writtenby Andre Spicer, City University London and Thomas Roulet, University of Oxford
We’ve all heard the phrase “peer review” as giving credence to research and scholarly papers, but what does it actually mean?
How does it work?
Peer review is one of the gold standards of science. It’s a process where scientists (“peers”) evaluate the quality of other scientists' work. By doing this, they aim to ensure the work is rigorous, coherent, uses past research and adds to what we already knew.
Most scientific journals, conferences and grant applications have some sort of peer review system. In most cases it is “double blind” peer review. This means evaluators do not know the author(s), and the author(s) do not know the identity of the evaluators.
The intention behind this system is to ensure evaluation is not biased.
The more prestigious the journal, conference, or grant, the more demanding will be the review process, and the more likely the rejection. This prestige is why these papers tend to be more read and more cited.

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Dentists from the dark side?

Loretta Marron OAM BSc

While dining out with an elderly friend, I noticed that he kept his false tooth plate in his shirt pocket. He had recently had seven amalgam-filled teeth removed, because he believed that their toxins were making him sick; but his new plate was uncomfortable. He had been treated by an 'holistic dentist'. Claiming to offer a "safe and healthier alternative" to conventional dentistry, are they committed to our overall health and wellbeing or are they promoting unjustified fear, unnecessarily extracting teeth and wasting our money?

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Planning for Profit in 2015 – Your key to Business Success

Chris Foster

We are now entering a new financial year and it’s a great time to reflect on last year and highlight those things that went well and those that may have impacted negatively in the pursuit of your goals.
It's also a great to spend some time re-evaluating your personal and business short, medium and long term goals in the light of events over the last year.
The achievement of your goals will in many cases be dependent on setting and aspiring to specific financial targets. It's important that recognise that many of your personal goals will require you to generate sufficient business profits to fund those aspirations

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ReWalk™ Personal Exoskeleton System Cleared by FDA for Home Use

Staff Writer

Exoskeleton leader ReWalk Robotics announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared the company’s ReWalk Personal System for use at home and in the community.
ReWalk is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) to stand upright and walk.
ReWalk, the only exoskeleton with FDA clearance via clinical studies and extensive performance testing for personal use, is now available throughout the United States.

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Attracting and Retaining Great People

Barry Urquhart

Welcome to the new financial year in Australia.
For many in business the past year has been described as a challenging period.
Adjectives are a key feature of the English language.  In the business lexicon their use can be, and often is evocative and stimulate creative images.  But they can also contribute to inexact, emotional perceptions.
Throughout the financial pages of newspapers and business magazines adjectives abound.
References to “hot” money draw attention and comment.  The recent wave of funds from Chinese investors, keen to remove their wealth from the jurisdiction and control of government regulations is creating a potential property bubble in Australia.

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Updating Your Values - Extending Your Culture

Neil Johnston

Pharmacy culture is dormant.
Being comprised of values, unless each value is continually addressed, updated or deleted, entire organisations can stagnate (or entire professions such as the pharmacy profession).
Good values offer a strong sense of security, knowing that if you operate within the boundaries of your values, you will succeed in your endeavours.

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Evidence-based medicine is broken. Why we need data and technology to fix it

Staff Writer

The following article is reprinted from The Conversation and forms up part of our library collection on evidence-based medicines.
At i2P we also believe that the current model of evidence is so fractured it will never be able to be repaired.
All that can happen is that health professionals should independently test and verify through their own investigations what evidence exists to prescribe a medicine of any potency.
Health professionals that have patients (such as pharmacists) are ideally placed to observe and record the efficacy for medicines.
All else should confine their criticisms to their evidence of the actual evidence published.
If there are holes in it then share that evidence with the rest of the world.
Otherwise, do not be in such a hurry to criticise professions that have good experience and judgement to make a good choice on behalf of their patients, simply because good evidence has not caught up with reality.

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Laropiprant is the Bad One; Niacin is/was/will always be the Good One

Staff Writer

Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, July 25, 2014
Laropiprant is the Bad One; Niacin is/was/will always be the Good One
by W. Todd Penberthy, PhD

(OMNS July 25, 2014) Niacin has been used for over 60 years in tens of thousands of patients with tremendously favorable therapeutic benefit (Carlson 2005).
In the first-person NY Times best seller, "8 Weeks to a Cure for Cholesterol," the author describes his journey from being a walking heart attack time bomb to a becoming a healthy individual.
He hails high-dose niacin as the one treatment that did more to correct his poor lipid profile than any other (Kowalski 2001).

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Culture Drive & Pharmacy Renewal

Neil Johnston

Deep within all of us we have a core set of values and beliefs that create the standards of behaviour that we align with when we set a particular direction in life.
Directions may change many times over a lifetime, but with life experiences and maturity values may increase in number or gain greater depth.
All of this is embraced under one word – “culture”.
When a business is born it will only develop if it has a sound culture, and the values that comprise that culture are initially inherent in the business founder.
A sound business culture equates to a successful business and that success is often expressed in the term “goodwill” which can be eventually translated to a dollar value.

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ReWalk™ Personal Exoskeleton System Cleared by FDA for Home Use

Staff Writer

Exoskeleton leader ReWalk Robotics announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared the company’s ReWalk Personal System for use at home and in the community.
ReWalk is a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) to stand upright and walk.
ReWalk, the only exoskeleton with FDA clearance via clinical studies and extensive performance testing for personal use, is now available throughout the United States.

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Pharmacy 2014 - Pharmacy Management Conference

Neil Johnston

The brave new world of health and wellness is not the enemy of Pharmacy, it is its champion.
Australian futurist, Morris Miselowski, one of the world's leading business visionaries, will present the Opening Keynote address on Pharmacy's Future in the new Health and Wellness Landscape at 2.00pm on Wednesday July 30.
Morris believes the key to better health care could already be in your pocket, with doctors soon set to prescribe iPhone apps, instead of pills.
Technology will revolutionise the health industry - a paradigm shift from healthcare to personal wellness.
Health and wellness applications on smartphones are already big news, and are dramatically changing the way we manage our personal health and everyday wellness.

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Generation and Application of Community Pharmacy Research

Neil Johnston

Editor’s Note: We have had a number of articles in this issue relating to pharmacy research.
The PGA has conducted a number of research initiatives over the years, including one recently reported in Pharmacy News that resulted from an analysis of the QCPP Patient Questionnaire.
Pharmacy Guild president, George Tambassis, appears to have authored the article following, and there also appears to be a disconnect between the survey report and its target audience illustrated by one of the respondent comments published.
I have asked Mark Coleman to follow through, elaborate and comment:

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Ken Harvey - His Mission is to be Controversial

Mark Coleman

articles by this author...

Mark is a semi-retired pharmacist.

Recently, La Trobe University announced a partnership between itself and the vitamin manufacturer Swisse Wellness.
On the surface it appeared that the university was striking a good deal with Swisse to back a $30 million research centre to test the efficacy of complementary and alternate medicine
Swisse agreed to inject $15 million into the project over a six-year period that would be called The Complementary Medicines Evaluation Centre.

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Latrobe University is also the home base for the well-known activist academic, Dr Ken Harvey, who has objected to the Swisse deal in the most vocal of terms.
Chancellor Professor Keith Nugent stated the centre would be undertaking independent research to ensure quality and transparency of results.
Ken Harvey, on the other hand suggested that the university’s press release sounded more like a “plug” for Swisse.
 He further claims that there will be an adverse impact by Swisse on the university because of previous product claims made by Swisse and that the partnership represented a fundamental conflict of interest.

Ken Harvey obviously felt quite strongly about the matter because he resigned as Adjunct Associate Professor in La Trobe’s School of Public Health.

A spokesman for the university claimed to be “surprised” at this announcement and pointed out that Swisse had no naming rights to the centre and had contributed about half of the initial capital, raising the possibility there was at least one other equal spot available for a second partnership. It was never intended to be solely a “Swisse Centre”.

It seemed that Ken Harvey would personally find an association with Swisse at his base university to be uncomfortable, because of the numerous complaints he has made against them through the Complaints Resolution Panel managed by the TGA.
In fact Ken Harvey has won quite a number of complaints through this arm of the TGA.

In the early part of his campaign, i2P supported him, believing that his work might begin to peel back the enormous level of medical fraud that we were gradually uncovering.
However, he seemed to want to only pursue the “low hanging fruit” that presented the easiest way of getting “points on the board”, in the form of complementary and alternate medicines prosecutions.
Some of his crusades were too extreme for i2P and our editor broke off the support, but left the door open if there was a will to pursue global Pharma’s, who were causing databases to be polluted with fraudulent information, and using improper means to get their research performed and published.

Whatever he accuses Swisse of setting up to do with La Trobe is mirrored in the global Pharma approach to drug manufacturing research.
But Swisse haven’t done anything yet, but no doubt they will be quickly perceived by Ken Harvey to be doing something wrong, so we will inevitably see some “serial stalking” of Swisse – a technique that Ken Harvey has refined to a fine art.

Ken Harvey has a life in another world where he is a member of Skeptics Australia.
Ken Harvey was the winner of Australian Skeptics’ Thornett Award in 2011, and was made a Life Member of Australian Skeptics in November 2013.
The medical Skeptics have become a powerful lobby group and focus on gaining executive control within various health organisations.
Then these organisations act in concert, one with the other, when some sort of secret Skeptic campaign is mounted, giving the impression that there is a grass roots support for a given activity when it is a very narrow focus indeed.

Examine the following extracted from the Australian Skeptics website:

“The proposed deal between Swisse Wellness and La Trobe University that led ‘serial campaigner’ Dr Ken Harvey to resign his position as Adjunct Associate Professor in the University’s School of Public Health has apparently run the gamut of several universities over a lengthy period of time before finally being taken up by La Trobe.

Bond University on the Queensland Gold Cost was approached about a possible venture in September 2012 before the university rejected it. At least two other universities were also approached and the offer rejected.

Harvey’s decision has been supported by academics around Australia, as well as by the Friends of Science in Medicine and the Consumers Health Forum of Australia organisations.”

Each of the universities noted in the above had Skeptic connections, the Friends of Science in Medicine is a well-known Skeptic stronghold, Choice is another and Mark Metherell has an influential voice in the Consumer’s Health Forum, which has campaigned against pharmacy by disseminating misinformation (previously under Carol Bennett who has since moved on).
It’s like a wall map that lights up all over the country when the network is activated, but it’s usually only a handful of people involved in the orchestration of a campaign.
Skeptics Australia used to have a link on its site referring to “campaigns”, but since i2P broadcast this fact, it seems to have disappeared.

It’s like everyone hides in plain sight but the actual campaigns are developed in secrecy.
The organisation and activity is more like a counter-intelligence underground agency rather than a respected group of people.
And for that reason the Skeptics are not trusted and their beliefs are often taken to extremes.

Here is something that you may not be aware of.
Globally, from all the clinical trials for drugs that are registered each year, you never hear a word of around 30 percent of them.
That means that from a recent analysis of almost 600 registered trials, 29 percent remain unpublished five years after they were finished.
What a waste of valuable research money and why would you think that might occur?
We're talking about data from nearly 300,000 subjects. And it has practically vanished from the public eye. You can only find results on ClinicalTrials.gov--a government searchable database of current studies.
And once trials actually do get published, they usually feature less than half of the data regarding relevant patient outcomes, compared with original findings.
Big Pharma has found a way to control the trials they fund--right down to the publishing of their results, and that includes withholding and releasing adverse data at their own discretion.
Sources:
1."Non-publication of large randomized clinical trials: cross sectional analysis." BMJ. 2013; 347: f6104.
2. "Randomized Clinical Trials: 1 in 3 Not Reported." Medscape. Oct 29, 2013.

Now we do know that Ken Harvey is well aware of this problem, so now that he has some spare time on his hands, may we suggest that he help to tackle this massive fraud problem instead of chasing the “small fish” in alternate and complementary circles.
Let La Trobe research a few answers there and meanwhile, that will give you a future target (but you probably won’t wait).
And there is another issue to consider from the recent Australian Science Communicators Conference. Some people consider themselves arbiters of what is good for a general public, and Skeptics are definitely included in that group.
But if you were inclined to form a more rounded view, then some of the links below might prove to be of interest

“Knowledge is power, but some people simply don't want to learn about science.

Surveys on public attitudes to science regularly tell us that there are swathes of the public that simply seem to not care about science, despite our best effort to engage them.

But perhaps the issue is not with the public — the issue is with the question.

Recent research argues that there is no such thing as a public at large to engage (or leave disengaged), rather, individuals who cluster around issues to form multiple publics, and even counterpublics who diverge from consensus opinion.”

 

Return to home

Submitted by chris guest on Fri, 14/02/2014 - 23:23.

Ken hasn't opposed Pharma funding per se (not even comp med funding).
The concern he raises is over the presence of a company with a history of advertising breaches. 18 out of 21 complaints uphelhd by the TGA, if I recall.
This is a company whose marketing strategy is celebrity endorsement - Kidman, DeGeneres et al. It is fair to ask if La Trobe is just the next unwitting celebrity.

Submitted by Sue on Fri, 14/02/2014 - 16:42.

Both the author and the first commenter have painted a very inaccurate picture of public health academic Ken Harvey. Ken originally trained as a medical microbiologist and infectious diseases specialist, and his entry into public health was motivated by a desire to rationalise antibiotic prescribing. He has since been actively involved in improving the use of prescription drugs within medicine, in Australia and overseas. You are wrong in alleging that Prof Harvey only aims for "low hanging fruit" - the reality is quite the opposite.

And as for Steve Jenkin's concept of the "Skeptic Fanboi" - that's just a load of nonsense.

Preventative care is about good lifestyle choices - not spending money on useless supplements.

And finally, the supplement manufacturer involved in this discussion hardly has a lily-white profile when it comes to false and exaggerated claims. By all means campaign to protect your incomes as small business people, but don't abandon your professional ethics.

Submitted by Reg on Fri, 14/02/2014 - 16:40.

Thank you Mark. I have put this exact argument to the Friends of Science and Medicine claiming that they are selectively sceptical of CAM but not pharma fraud. Their inconsistency reveals a massive flaw in their arguments. The same suspects turn up both on twitter and on The Conversation usually with a bullying style claiming 'straw man' arguments and worse. I suspect their agenda is to deny consumers alternative treatments thereby handing a monopoly of medications to the very fraudsters they support. Could we get them to declare any conflicts of interest?

Submitted by Anon on Fri, 14/02/2014 - 16:31.

Yep. Own goal by Harvey and Friend of Science in medicine.
By arguing that La Trobe can't be unbiased if they partner with industry to conduct trials, they inadvertently undermine their own industries (medicine and pharmacy) and the entire university system that partners with industry to conduct research.
Friends of Science in Medicine and the Australian Skeptics rarely raise breath when it comes to pharma research. If they were truely interested in science in medicine, in preventing human suffering and in wasted health dollars wouldn't Pharma be the most obvious place to focus your resources.
Friends of science in medicine they are not.
Great article

Submitted by steve jenkin on Tue, 11/02/2014 - 15:27.

Mark,

1. Fairfax reported an apparent about-face by Harvey:

[http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/academic-quits-over-swisse-deal-with-uni-20140204-31zhl.html]

"Professor Nugent said he was surprised by Dr Harvey's resignation because he had discussed the plan with him and believed he supported more independent research into complementary medicines."

2. Harvey and the Institute of Science in Medicine (Aus) known locally as "Friends of Science in Medicine" have repeatedly called for the efficacy of Alternative Medicines to be rigorously investigated - to get Level 1 Evidence, based presumably, on the assumption that most, or all, non-pharmaceutials are at best, only placebos or deleterious to health. This seems to the be basis of the furious attacks by Loretta Marron et al of FoSiM on Alt.Med.

When Harvey and his cohort are given the opportunity for exactly what they've requested, rather than work with the Institution and Vendor to arrive at an unbiased and independent structure, he attacks the vendor, the University and the whole industry with unsupported claims that such independence is impossible, or the trials cannot provide reliable data (the researchers will cherry-pick supportive data and reject disconfirming data, implying there is no systematic effect, that all results are from random variation).

I fail to see how Harvey is holding to the Skeptics code of "Examine the Evidence".

He, and his cohort represented by Dwyer & Marron of FoSiM, have made an a priori claim that Alternative Medicines _cannot_ be examined rigorously and independently in an unbiased fashion, that data _will_ be massaged and cherry-picked.

3. Harvey makes a very, very strong case against current Pharmaceutical research in his claims that University research _cannot_ be independent and unbiased if funded by an interested commercial party.

The overwhelming majority, if not entirety, of industry-backed University research is done by Pharmaceutical companies, presumably mostly by Big Pharma.

The evidence for Harvey/Dwyer/Marron claims of confected and unreliable research _must_ relate to this research and this research alone, as this group is vociferous and trenchant in its assertions that Alternative Medicines aren't backed by "evidence", especially of efficacy.

So, did Harvey just say "Big Pharma meddles in academic research and suppresses inconvenient results, therefore Alt.Med _must as well_ if they start"??

The Deputy VC (research) of La Trobe responded to Harvey's outrageous actions and unsubstantiated claims:

[http://www.smh.com.au/comment/why-la-trobe-will-take-swisse-money-to-help-fund-research-on-its-products-20140207-32747.html]

"If any research in this area is to be useful and credible, it must come from independent, trusted sources and be based on scientific fact."

4. Harvey, Dwyer, Marron and their Skeptic fanbois have an Agenda:
they've already decided that _all_ Alternative Medicine is Mad, Bad and Dangerous.

They've always justified this position on the basis "it isn't Evidence Based", meaning there are no Level 1 trials available.
When those trials _are_ proposed, they then attack the integrity and competence of the very system they supposedly support.

Compare this unreasonable demand to normal Medical practice where somewhere between 60%-80% of interventions have NO supporting evidence.

For the remainder, there is very little Level 1 evidence available. The majority is Level 4: a consensus view of 'experts'.

5. The real figures of merit for all Healthcare are simple:
- what is the cost of the treatment?
- What level of Patient Safety is attained?

You'll never hear Harvey, Dwyer, Marron or the Skeptic Fanboi's talk about foreseeable, preventable Death and Injury, about Iatrogenic injury and death, about systemic problems with Medical Errors and levels of Patient Harm and about inefficient and ineffectual medical systems and processes.

They continue to bleat and moan about an illusory 'enemy' that's "costing Billions". They can't even quote solid figures - with claims starting at $1 billion and since ramping up to $4 billion.

In the context of the rapidly rising Healthcare expenditure of over 9% of GDP and ~$110 billion/year, they

The USA spends 18% of GDP on its Healthcare, trending up to 21% after "Obama-care", yet on every metric but one, have the worst healthcare outcomes in the Western world, for twice the price.

Their one exceptional measure is emergency care.

The US system is based around "Heroic measures" and last minute treatment. It's shown, definitively, this is NOT the way to achieve lower patient mortality, lower lifetime healthcare costs nor longer average lifespan and higher quality of life.

Submitted by Genevieve Gilmore on Tue, 18/02/2014 - 10:06.

Well said Steve. Thanks for writing such a comprehensive response.

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