Issues Magazine

Issues Magazine September 2008

An overview of what's in this edition of Issues.
David Briggs explains the role of the Therapeutic Goods Administration in regulating complementary medicines in Australia.
Some forms of complementary medicine are efficacious but many have unproven or no health benefits. Claims that cannot be substantiated by scientific research are common, and all have some degree of risk.
Many naturopaths support further regulation, but other industry elements disagree. Jon Wardle discusses this dichotomy and the benefits of regulation.
How do you distinguish and assess conventional, complementary and alternative treatments and their practitioners? BrainLink offers a range of issues to consider and questions to ask.
The National Health and Medical Research Council has set aside $5.3 million to fund research into the use of complementary medicines in Australia.
Australian news reporting of complementary and alternative medicine is often poor, but a study identifying the problem could also provide the solution.
Complementary health care is an important part of Australian preventative health care.
There needs to be a better balance between Australia’s high usage rates of complementary medicines and the evidence to support its use.
Pharmacies have a vested interest in selling complementary medicine products that have little or no evidence of efficacy.
Do complementary and alternative medicines like homeopathy, chiropractic and acupuncture work?
The Chiropractors’ Association of Australia rejects the SA Skeptics’ view of chiropractic.
The Skeptics Association of South Australia accepts evidence-based chiropractic but advocates further research for unsubstantiated practices.
Acupuncture is gaining significant acceptance in Australia, but further research and review will aid its integration with the broader healthcare system.
Many Australians use alternative treatments for depression, but do they work?
A Macquarie University research group has been building partnerships with indigenous Australians to preserve their unique medicinal plant knowledge and to identify natural medicinal agents.
Public Library of Science
A new fad among expensive health clinics is to deliver vitamins intravenously, but does this help or harm health?