Phoenix Pharmaceuticals staff are members of the Alcohol Hangover Research Group (AHRG) (yes there really is an academic group who are actually working on the parthenogenesis of hangover). Their upcoming meeting to be held in Fiji will have researchers from around the world presenting the latest data on Hangover Research. We will be there presenting our data along with other Australian Researchers.
Hangover research has long been neglected as it is not recognized as a medical problem-more like a form of punishment. Our work started three years ago and Ethics committees and some Government Departments believe that Hangover research is of little importance and that work done in this area is just promoting drinking. In contrast, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NH&MRC) have funded special sites of excellence in hangover research such as Swinburne University in Melbourne to help understand the mechanisms and ways of preventing hangover. We have stated previously the cost to the Australian public of hangover is in excess of $6 billion per year. The rationale of researchers in this area is to minimize the harm done by hangover while at the same time encouraging responsible drinking-this is inevitably going to be a long term goal. The most recent World Health Organization rated over 90 countries as to their alcohol intake and Australia came in at number 10 in the world. This is not good news as this shows that we have a very strong drinking culture that needs to be addressed.
Hangover treatments (Complimentary Medicines) over the last 50 years have lacked a scientific basis and at most have been based on traditional Chinese Medicine including the Kudzu Root. We do not use this ingredient because of concerns that it may not be appropriate to use with alcohol. There has always been a contentious issue between Medical versus Natural products as there are no requirements for the latter to provide efficacy and safety data.
We have been contacted today with the threat of fines and removal of our product from the market due to a single complaint from just one person. This person has a long history of involvement in the process of educational and research links between academia, medical professionals and industry. It is unclear where his funding is provided from but in the interest of transparency this should be declared. It is of significant concern that a considerable amount of tax payers money has been spent by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in the response to one person when thousands of you have demonstrated that you find the product of value.
As consumers of our product we have been advised to remove your comments from our web page and face book page as the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) find your comments offensive and that your freedom of speech should be suppressed. Apparently your testimonials do not conform with the TGA code.
We have also been told that our graphics which depict people having fun are inappropriate and should be removed as they promote drinking.
We have not been able to advertise the product because the TGA do not like the fact that we are looking at the adverse effects of alcohol consumption. Interestingly our reason behind Rapid Recovery was to try to improve the symptoms of Hangover so that people would not be couch potatoes the day after a night out. The fact that we have inferred that people do drink has been greeted with the assumption that nobody really does drink and so therefor we do not have a problem if we don’t acknowledge the fact that people drink. I must say this does my head in NOTE to the TGA AUSTRALIANS DO DRINK why can’t we make ourselves feel better.
Unfortunately the TGA codes are dependent on interpretation. They cannot be disputed and the TGA has the right to remove any product that it feels is inappropriate with no recourse from the manufacturer.
Rapid Recovery is a good product and deserves the right to continue to be sold so that further research can be continued. All our research has been funded by myself from my personal income and I will continue for as long as I can. Phoenix Pharmaceutical is owned exclusively by myself and my husband and friends volunteer and support this dream to be able to have a drink and not suffer.
We have just completed a large trial in Melbourne and the results of this work will be presented in Fiji by the Principal Investigator. Further trials in this area are in jeopardy due to the lack understanding of the importance of this work by Ethics Committees and Government Departments. Decisions are being made with little evidence to support them and as they cannot be challenged the area of Hangover Research will suffer. This was discussed at the 39th International Alcohol Research Meeting in San Diego 2018.