Complementary Medicines Australia (CMA) & the Australian Traditional Medicine Association (ATMS) submitted a combined formal submission of complaint to the Commonwealth Ombudsman regarding the 2015 National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) report into Homeopathy.
The submission is an intensive, year-long investigation into bias, conflicts of interest, methodological flaws and procedural irregularities associated with NHMRC’s review that distorted its findings and conclusions.
This is a milestone moment for Australian Homoeopathy and complimentary & Alternative medicine (CAM) in general. The industry has come together to formally ask the Ombudsman to make the NHMRC answerable for the highly questionable process it has undertaken. The Ombudsman is being asked to recommend that the report be taken down in its entirety and that NHMRC take reasonable steps to correct unjust third-party damage it has caused.
No less than eight members of the skeptic group Friends of Science in Medicine were involved in the NHMRC review process, from the NHMRC Council to the NHMRC Principal Committee that guided the work, to the first Chair of the Homeopathy Working Committee, to a 2014 contractor engaged by the NHMRC. Worse, seven of these conflicts of interest were not disclosed at all; the other conflict was only partially disclosed with key details obfuscated.
Stakeholders and the community expect higher standards.
We hope this will represent a turning point in how government relates to the Homoeopathy and CAM sector, resulting in greater transparency and accountability within government, so that vested interest groups, such as the skeptics, can no longer distort government processes.
Image taken from http://blog.ucsusa.org/francesca-grifo/five-reasons-congress-should-support-strong-conflict-of-interest-standards-at-fda