Controversy: government to fund Alzheimer’s ‘food’
La Trobe University adjunct associate professor Ken Harvey has written to the DVA, branding the drink, Souvenaid, a “dubious product”, asking why it was approved for subsidy despite “escaping any critical assessment that a therapeutic good making health claims would require”.
“It is not unexpected, given the paucity of effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, that some patients and carers will believe the product helps — through placebo effects — and want the product subsidised, but that should not govern a DVA reimbursement decision,” he said.
As previously reported by MO, Souvenaid maker Nutricia has bypassed Therapeutic Goods Administration requirements by listing the product as a “food for special medical purposes” with state food authorities.
Dr Harvey said the product meets the definition of a therapeutic good with marketing claims including “nutritionally supports memory