Complementary medicines research centre critics ‘hypocrites’

La Trobe academic Dr Ken Harvey, a campaigner for a responsible pharmaceutical industry, resigned his position as adjunct associate professor at the university’s School of Public Health over the issue.

Dr Harvey, along with the group Friends of Science in Medicine (FSM), argued that while further research into the efficacy of supplements and complementary medicines was needed, the funding arrangement for the Complementary Medicine Evidence Centre (CMEC) created a conflict of interest.

However, the Australasian Integrative Medicine Association (AIMA) said that similar research was routinely carried out by universities on behalf of pharmaceutical companies to establish “independently viable data”.

“For instance, it is openly acknowledged by the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences that they have collaborative partnerships with over 20 biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies,” it said in a statement.