Herbal remedy death leads to call for TGA action

THE TGA has been urged to step up regulation of herbal remedies, along with public  awareness campaigns on the dangers of buying products online, after a man died from renal failure linked to a herbal treatment.

The call comes as naturopaths and herbalists seek registered health practitioner status under AHPRA. 

But Dr Brian Morton, chair of the AMA’s Council of General Practice, said the case was further evidence against the push.

“It’s not evidence-based [medicine], and until it adopts a scientific and evidence-based approach, it will always be fringe,” he said.

Writing in the MJA, Adelaide’s Flinders Medical Centre researchers said the 75-year-old had been taking an alternative psoriasis remedy for three years before presenting to doctors with lethargy, nausea and poor appetite. He died four days later. 

The cause of death was exposure to poisonous aristolochic acid, later found in

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