Officials say Veterans’ MATES program axed after ‘losing confidence’ of patients

The department was not immediately told when the program lost ethics approval, said Secretary Alison Frame.

Department of Veterans’ Affairs officials only learnt second-hand that a program to address polypharmacy among veterans had lost ethics approval, its secretary has told a Senate committee.

The Veterans’ Medicines Advice and Therapeutic Education Services (MATES) program was axed on 12 February after the department’s independent Human Research Ethics Committee withdrew ethics approval for the University of SA–run project.