News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Lyprinol Sentence increased

19 February 2001

Lyprinol Sentence increased

THE Ministry of Health is delighted at a High Court decision which increases the sentence imposed on Lyprinol distributors Pacific Pharmaceuticals.

"This sends an important message about how seriously we take the law about medicines, and our vigilance in respect of products which do not meet the quality and safety criteria the Medicines Act demands," Director-General of Health Dr Karen Poutasi said.

In the Auckland High Court Justices J Priestley and J Anderson quashed the original $5000 fine imposed on Pacific Pharmaceuticals as "manifestly inadequate" and increased it to $15,000.

Dr Poutasi said the Ministry of Health was legally required to ensure New Zealanders had access to safe and effective medicines, registered under the Medicines Act.

"This means making sure that we protect the public against therapeutic claims for products which have not had the appropriate clinical trials and testing," Dr Poutasi said.

"We lodged an appeal against the original sentence because we believed the fine imposed on Pacific Pharmaceuticals in September was inadequate. Bearing in mind that this has always been something of a test case - acknowledged in this latest judgement - we asked for more."

Pacific Pharmaceuticals had admitted in an earlier court appearance that it breached section 20 of the Medicines Act 1981 which states that it is an offence to sell, distribute or advertise the availability of a new medicine before the Minister of Health has consented to such distribution.

It also admitted causing, or permitting to be published a medical advertisement that directly and/or by implication, claimed that the medicine of the description advertised, namely lyprinol, would prevent, alleviate, or cure cancer and/or arthritis. This breached section 58 of the Act. A small fine imposed for this breach ($150) is unchanged by today's decision.

Lyprinol's appearance on the New Zealand market in 1999 was marked by what the latest Court ruling called "extensive and in part inaccurate media attention....The end result was the deliberate sale of a product for which therapeutic claims had been made in the absence of the consents required."

Although the brief time the product was on the market meant profits were not great, the Court noted that "substantial profits" were built into the distribution chain for Lyprinol.

ENDS

For further information contact: Angus Barclay Media advisor Tel: 04 496 2067

Internet Address;http://www.moh.govt.nz

Background Information

Pacific Pharmaceuticals was the New Zealand distributor of Lyprinol - a green-lipped mussel extract. Lyprinol was claimed to be effective in the treatment of arthritis and asthma and touted as a possible cure for cancer.

Lyprinol came to the attention of the Ministry of Health in July 1999 when there was significant coverage in television and newsprint of a story about the product being a possible cure for cancer.

The product was originally sold as a dietary supplement and, under these regulations, the distributor of the product is not permitted to make claims that the product may treat or cure any diseases or medical conditions.

To be able to market a product as a medicine, it must first be assessed as to its safety, quality and effectiveness by Medsafe, the medicines regulatory branch of the Ministry of Health, to be registered on the schedule of permitted medicines.

The media hype was generated at the same time as the product became available in pharmacies.

The Ministry's submission was that Pacific Pharmaceuticals Ltd was part of a cynical marketing campaign aimed to generate an instant profile for the product and to target it at a vulnerable audience - those suffering from cancer.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Electronica: Restoring The World’s First Recorded Computer Music

University of Canterbury Distinguished Professor Jack Copeland and UC alumni and composer Jason Long have restored the earliest known recording of computer-generated music, created more than 65 years ago using programming techniques devised by Alan Turing. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Almost Getting Away With Murder

The Black Widow by Lee-Anne Cartier: Lee-Anne Cartier is the sister of the Christchurch man found to have been murdered by his wife, Helen Milner, after an initial assumption by police that his death, in 2009, was suicide. More>>

Howard Davis: Triple Echo - The Malevich/Reinhardt/Hotere Nexus

Howard Davis: The current juxtaposition of works by Ralph Hotere and Ad Reinhardt at Te Papa perfectly exemplifies Jean Michel Massing's preoccupation with the transmigration of imagery in a remarkable triple echo effect... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Nō Tāu Manawa

Vaughan Rapatahana responds to Fale Aitu | Spirit House by Tusiata Avi: "fa’afetai Tusiata, fa’afetai, / you’ve swerved & served us a masterclass corpus / through graft / of tears & fears..." More>>

9 Golds - 21 Medals: NZ Team Celebrates As Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Close

The entire New Zealand Paralympic Team, led by kiwi sprinter and double gold medallist Liam Malone as flag bearer, are on the bus to the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro for the Closing Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. There, they will celebrate the fantastic successes of the past 10 days. More>>

ALSO:

New Zealand Improv Festival: The Festival Of Moments To Return To The Capital

The eighth incarnation of the New Zealand Improv Festival comes to BATS Theatre this 4-8 October , with a stellar line-up of spontaneous theatre and instant comedy performed and directed by top improvisors from around New Zealand and the world. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news