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You may be aware that the Labor Party has announced their policy to stop rebates for Natural Therapies if they are elected on July 2, 2016.
There has been much discussion on this topic. The NHAA would like to clarify some facts and our understanding of the potential impact should this policy be enacted.
A recent article in ABC News online described six cases of liver and renal failure ascribed to herbal supplements. While these extremely sad instances of illness are said to be due to a specific class of therapeutic product, there are several aspects to the ABC report that require clarification.
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) issued a statement via the Australian Doctor on 23 Feb recommending their members refuse patient test requests from naturopathic practitioners. The rationale underlying this position is based on protection of members from medico-legal and financial risk that may arise from liability, litigation, or test rebate fees, as well as perceptions of patient safety. A template letter has been developed by the RACGP to send to practitioners outlining reasons for the rejection of such requests for patient testing.
Complementary Medicines Australia (CMA) has announced that 10 new ingredients have been assessed by the TGA as suitable for use in listed medicines. This includes 4 herbs: Terminalia arjuna (Arjuna); Berberis aristata (Indian Barberry or Tree Turmeric); Lepidium meyenii (Maca); Trachyspermum ammi (Bishops weed or Ajwain).
Dr Jane Frawley, Editor of the NHAA Australian Journal of Herbal Medicine, has been appointed by ARCCIM as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Dr Frawley is currently working on an Australian Research Council (ARC) funded project drawing upon the 45 and Up Study at the Sax Institute to examine women’s use of informal health care for five chronic health conditions.