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Class Action Suit

by Lynn Berry

(NaturalNews) Five years ago the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) took drastic action against Pan Pharmaceuticals because of the hospitalisation of 19 people who took Travacalm (a travel sickness drug). TGA stripped the company of its licence and ordered a recall of all their products including natural supplements.

Such action is unheard of with pharmaceutical drugs that cause adverse effects. Even though Pan Pharmaceuticals had withdrawn the product (a standard procedure in the circumstances), TGA continued with the recall, the biggest in history, of 1600 different products, causing chaos amongst retailers and suppliers, as well as concern amongst consumers. Pan Pharmaceuticals collapsed with repercussions across the industry.

Last week the former CEO of Pan Pharmaceuticals was awarded $50 million dollars (AUS) with an extra 5 million for legal costs for what he claims was an abuse of power by the TGA. The case revealed that the TGA had abused their powers.

Now as a result of the settlement, a $200 million dollar class action has been launched which would enable those directly and indirectly affected by the TGA’s action to claim compensation.

The travel sickness product was the trigger for other astounding actions by the TGA. Consider that the TGA rated other products (vitamins and minerals) made by Pan Pharmaceuticals as class 1 meaning that these products would be capable of causing death or injury even though there had been no complaints about them.

This is in contrast to a drug such as VIOXX, made by Merck, which the TGA rated as a class 2 recall meaning that it could cause illness. However, VIOXX caused over 55,000 confirmed deaths to Americans. The class 2 ratings given indicate that the drug could not cause death or injury.

Since the Pan debacle, other organisations that produce natural supplements have been pressured in various ways by the establishment including increased compliance costs (up by 800% for one company) or into signing agreements protecting TGA from loss of business claims that might emanate from increased regulation, see (…) for further details.

Over 100 companies are interested in joining the class action including the high profile Blackmores, a producer of natural supplements. The executive chairman of Blackmores said that in the first week of the TGA action against Pan Pharmaceuticals, Blackmores lost 20% of their customers.

Some are claiming that the case highlights the need for natural supplements need to be regulated. Would that be the same regulation pharmaceutical drugs like VIOXX are subjected to?

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