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Australian Journal of Pharmacy : May 2008
complementary medicine complementary medicine FeAtuRiNG iN the Next Journal of Complementary Medicine... young people at ultra-high risk for psychosis; • clinical and physiological evaluation of chinese herbal medicine for constipation- predominant IBS; • preclinical and compositional evaluation of propolis; and • a RCT of a herbal formulation in functional dyspepsia. ICCMR’s closing plenary, the NICM director, Prof Alan Bensoussan, called on industry to partner more with tertiary departments. He estimated that for every $10 spent on CM, 2c was invested by industry in research, yet returns on wellness research were in the order of 111%. Although Blackmores, in addition to some outstanding smaller players, wIll [THe loCal CM SeCToR]...Make THe MoST of THR oNCe-IN-a-lIfeTIMe? oPPoRTuNuITIeS? It was otherwise the usual panoply of CM research pathways that sound colourful and eyebrow-raising, yet it was unusual to hear them attracting a veritable embarrassment of riches in public money. Where to from here? ‘Australia has enormous potential to be an international leader in evidence-based [CM] products and services,’ Senator McLucas concluded in some of the most positive language to come from officialdom towards CM. Now that the local CM sector is in the novel position of getting what it had wanted for so long, will it know what to do with it and make the most of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities? There are early indications. At erratum In the March 2008 edition of the AJP (Scattergun approach harmful, pgs 58 to 59), David Newgreen was incorrectly identified as a member of the Pharmacy Board of Victoria. Mr Newgreen is in fact employed by the Pharmacy Board of Victoria as a Project Pharmacist. His reported contribution to a Medical Journal of Australia paper was in a personal capacity and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Board. the AJP apologises for any confusion or embarrassment caused due to the error. has one of the better track records in supporting research, the investment of Symbion and most, if not all, of the practitioner-focused companies—now swallowed by NZ-based Thompson’s in aggressive acquisitions—is comparatively meagre. Prof Bensoussan identified the usual barriers to co-investment: lack of IP protection, uncertain outcomes and inherent difficulties in methodologies. However, none of these—even lack of patent—were insurmountable, he added, as more than 700 herbs were IP protected. If industry fails to step up to the plate, warned Prof Bensoussan, it will simply be overtaken. Whether that is by regulatory creep, consumer backlash or Big Pharma or a combination, time will tell. n Chinese herbs are available in almost every pharmacy, health-food and grocery store, ranging from goji berries to ginseng or astragalus, while curious roots, buds and even sea creatures or insects nearly complete the Materia Medica in specialist tea shops and markets wherever there is a sizeable Asian population. Yet OTHER FEATURES INCLUDE: • Macular degeneration—coinciding with national awareness week for the leading cause of blindness in Australia, this case study by a naturopath and pharmacist looks at why the disease state has become the provence of supplements to support macular health or stop the progression to loss of central vision. • Sinusitis—this winter you’re bound to see more acute and chronic cases desperate for a remedy and an integrative GP with clinical experience in the area explains causes, associations and the natural treatments available. • Gallstones—prosaically common and easily treated conventionally, some people want to prevent or expel gallstones naturally. The risk factors are mainly dietary and this review analyses these. A medical acupuncturist also questions the myth of the olive oil and lemon juice naturopathic ‘cure’. • Journal Digest—policosanol fails to deliver blood-lipid benefits in one of the first trials outside of Cuba, lactobacillus and cranberry kill Helicobacter pylori, and the omega-fatty acid DHA helps in childhood eczema. • Astragalus—a traditional Chinese herb for cold and flu now available in many supplements. It is now promoted as a tonic and pharmacist Dr Lesley Braun reviews its potential as a chemo adjunct. • Registered complementary medicines—the CMs that have as much evidence of efficacy as OTCs or drugs are labelled ‘AUST R’. What does this mean and why is the category so neglected? Amid calls for more testing of CMs, we look at why companies are loath to take the path of higher therapeutic claims and sometimes years of rigorous testing. As with many things CM, neither the field nor the answers are clear-cut. • News updates on the recent and first International Congress of CM Research ever to come to Australia, including the recipients of more than $7m worth of federal funding for research. To subscribe to The Journal of Complementary Medicine, contact www.jnlcompmed.com.au The AusTrAliAn journAl of PhArmAcy vol.89 mAy 2008 61 THE JOURNAL OF COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE Vol 7 No 3 GALLSTONES ? SINUSITIS ? CHINESE HERB INTERACTIONS ? POST-MI ? MACULAR DEGENERATION ? EXERCISE & DEPRESSION ? FATTY ACID PROFILING ? AUST R CMS ? ANTI-AGEING PP255003/09005 The Independent Peer-Reviewed Journal for Healthcare Professionals MAY / JUNE 2008 Vol 7 N Therapies for sinusitis and gallstones Testing fatty acid levels What is anti-ageing medicine? CMs that are tested for efficacy Astragalus – the Chinese herb for cold and flu Post-MI and macular degeneration case studies Prescribing exercise for depression Drug interaction guide begins Chinese herbs