Harvey quits La Trobe over $15m complementary meds deal

The agreement, over six years, will involve establishing a Complementary Medicine Evidence Centre (CMEC) to undertake “independent research on the safety, efficacy and cost effectiveness of complementary medicines and nutraceuticals being sold in Australia”, according to the university.

But Dr Harvey, who was an adjunct associate professor at the university’s School of Public Health, said the partnership creates a fundamental conflict of interest.

“I certainly support more research into the efficacy of complementary medicines but, in my view, it is crucial that the design, assessment and funding of such research be at arm’s length from a particular company and overseen by an independent body such as the Australian Research Council and/or NHMRC,” his resignation letter read.

Dr Harvey said Swisse was well known for "prioritising the marketing of its products, especially by the use of celebrities, over