Fraudulent IV drip therapy

The problem:

NSW businesses are making claims for IV drip therapy that lack scientific evidence and exploit consumers. Claims include ‘combats hangovers,’ ‘removes toxins,’ ‘removes fat,’ ‘anti-aging,’ ‘prevents colds,’ ‘boosts immunity,’ ‘relieves fatigue,’ ‘provides mental clarity,’ and ‘improves memory function.’

Some clinics advertise IV drip therapy for severe conditions, such as ‘treatment for acute asthma attacks,’ ‘chronic sinusitis,’ ‘seasonal allergies,’ ‘depression,’ and ‘cardiovascular disease.’ These claims are severe breaches of the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code and the Therapeutic Goods Act.

Some businesses offer a mobile service where they will come to you and administer IV drip therapy at weddings, bucks and hen’s parties, or even poolside after a big night.

They claim to use registered, qualified nurses and medical staff. They charge from $149 to $299 and offer inducements: ‘buy ten and save $350’.

My concerns:

The companies concerned and the medical and nursing staff they employ are in breach of s.133 of the National Law. This is because the claims made are false, misleading, and deceptive; most cannot be substantiated, create an unreasonable expectation of beneficial treatment, and encourage unnecessary use of health services.

In addition, the medical, nursing, and compounding pharmacy staff involved in IV drip therapy are likely to breach their respective Codes of Conduct because, by providing this service, they are not acting in their patient’s best interests.

Action taken:

complaint has been submitted to the NSW Health Care Complaints Commission and the TGA, asking them to investigate these clinics and the registered health professionals that compound and administer the promoted treatments. If it is agreed that all involved break the law, then I ask that those involved be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I can confirm that the matters remain open with Ahpra the matters related to specific health practitioners are with our advertising team, and the other issues have been referred to our criminal offenses unit.

Our standard practice for these matters is to update complainants when we finalize the case unless the complainant is required as a witness.