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Swisse Vitamins highlights the failure of industry self-regulation

By Ken Harvey

Encouraging GPs to “on-sell” products to patients is likely to produce unnecessary or inappropriate prescribing

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Swisse Vitamins Pty Ltd has been in the news recently over their Federal Court action to suppress a determination of the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Complaint Resolution Panel (CRP) about a number of their products. And now a new marketing campaign by the company has highlighted the limitations of the complementary medicines industry’s self-regulation.

After investigating several complaints, the CRP found the promotion of a number of Swisse products was misleading, had not been verified or raised unwarranted expectations.

The CRP requested Swisse pull promotion that claimed certain products were “clinically proven” or “independently tested”, as well as its “Tired? Stressed? You’ll feel better on Swisse” tagline. The matter is currently awaiting judgement while the CRP determination remains suppressed.

Yesterday, Swisse caused more controversy by sending an e-mail to subscribers of an online GP educational service (ThinkGP) offering the Swisse Practitioner range of premium quality vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and herbs.

The e-mail noted, “Swisse Practitioner has been specifically created for, and is exclusive to practitioners....

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Ken Harvey is Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Health at La Trobe University. This article was originally published at The Conversation.