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MIMS wrong on herbal data, says critic

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Medicines bible, MIMS, is providing potentially erroneous product information about complementary medicines, a leading public health expert claims.

Adjunct Senior Lecturer at La Trobe University’s school of public health, Dr Ken Harvey told Pharmacy eNews he was concerned that MIMS had published information about a herbal product that was provided by the manufacturer and had not been independently validated.

“When I recently complained [to the TGA] about the promotion of Ethical Nutrients herbal product, Urinary Tract Support, on a number of non-sponsor websites, I was told that some of this information had been sourced from MIMS.

“MIMS then confirmed that their product information on listed complementary medicines was provided by the company concerned and received no independent validation,” he says.

Dr Harvey noted the MIMS disclaimers stated it “reproduces product information as provided by the pharmaceutical companies and approved by the TGA”.

“I have pointed out to MIMS that this statement does not accurately reflect the difference between TGA approved prescribing information and information on listed medicines that is not routinely checked by the TGA.

“I have suggested that if MIMS continues to publish information from listed medicine product sponsors that is potentially erroneous and harmful then a prominent disclaimer should be attached, saying, ‘the above information has been provided by the product sponsor and has not been independently assessed by Australian health authorities or by ourselves’,” he said.

In his complaint to the TGA, Dr Harvey questioned the manufacturer’s advertising claims that the complementary medicine was 96.9 per cent effective in the treatment of cystitis compared with standard oral treatments.

He added the only reference, which was cited in an advertisement for the product, was in a journal which was only available in Chinese.

At the time of publication a spokesperson for MIMS was not available to comment.


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