They think that they can get away with destroying hundreds of businesses and creating huge financial losses on the basis of mere speculation. One of the grosser examples of bureaucratic irresponsibility and abuse of power. They are all the more hateful because they have settled with the "big" guy whom they hurt but now seem to think they can stiff all the the little guys by insisting on long drawn out and expensive court action. I have commented on the scum previously. Note that I am no fan of "alternative" medicine. As you can see here I think that there is too much quackery even in conventional medicine. But my attachment to the importance of evidence is obviously not shared by the TGA and the bitches who seem to run it -- depite scrutiny of evidence being their brief
PHIL Alexander has turned to the law for help five years after it was used against his naturopath business in the country's biggest medicines recall. He has become part of a $120 million class action against the commonwealth over its role in the collapse of Pan Pharmaceuticals, which once supplied his multivitamin business. "It was an incredibly harrowing experience," Mr Alexander said, recalling the 12,000 items of stock he was forced to destroy in the recall.
He even received death threats as frightened customers turned against him and bad publicity swamped his sales. "The odd father rang up and said 'If you kill my baby, I'll kill you'," Mr Alexander said.
In 2003, the Therapeutic Goods Administration suspended Pan's licence and progressively recalled 1600 of its products. The TGA accused Australia's then largest complementary medicine maker of substituting ingredients, manipulating test results and running sub-standard production lines after a Pan travel sickness drug was linked to 19 admissions to hospital.
But the decisions the authority made at the time were brought into serious question last year after the commonwealth settled with Pan founder Jim Selim for $55 million over the TGA's handling of the affair.
Now Mr Alexander wants redress, saying his once-thriving Sydney business has never recovered from the TGA's actions. "They pulled all the vitamins and minerals off the shelves, without cause," he said. "After 14 weeks, we were able to get stock made and get it back on the shelves, but of course over 30 per cent of our customers wouldn't come back."
Mr Alexander said the TGA had acted on an "ideological and regulatory whim" in ordering such a massive recall. He said Pan had passed a TGA audit not long before, and no complaints were made or illnesses recorded from the recalled products.
Mr Alexander said he first learned of his business's fate on the 6pm news one Monday in April 2003. "All hell broke loose, and the next day the phones went absolutely mad for 14 days. We spent months returning all the calls. It was bedlam, it was just insane," he said. The TGA refused to even test his multivitamins for contamination, despite ordering the destruction of his stock, Mr Alexander said.
A Health Department spokeswoman said yesterday the TGA was unable to comment because the case was before the courts. But the regulator has publicly refused to concede any of the allegations made in Mr Selim's lawsuit.
Susanna Khouri, investment manager with IMF Australia, which is funding the lawsuit, said Mr Alexander's story of lost revenue and emotional harm was repeated many times over.
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