Complementary medicine partnership

La Trobe University has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Swisse as an important step towards establishment of a Complementary Medicine Evidence Centre (CMEC).

‘La Trobe is pleased that Swisse has agreed to come on board with the first financial commitment.  We are in discussions with others in industry and government to secure the funds required to establish the centre,’ said Professor Nugent, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research).

There have been 16,000 published trials on complementary medicines over 30 years and the centre will drive a new consistency across well designed and controlled research.

The centre will undertake further independent research on the safety, efficacy and cost effectiveness of complementary medicines and nutriceuticals being sold in Australia.
'La Trobe is responding to consumers’ need to know more about the benefits of complementary medicines and to be empowered to make informed choices,” Professor Nugent said.

We also know that industry needs clear scientific evidence to meet increasing regulations and guide product developments particularly for an export market. At La Trobe University we have the skills and expertise to help provide that information.’

‘Once established, La Trobe will be able to build on the existing body of analytical and clinical research work to provide independent, rigorous, peer-reviewed scientific research and trials on complementary medicine performance and safety in Australia through the work of this centre.'

'The centre intends to publish scientific data generated through industry-funded trials in peer reviewed journals to ensure the quality and transparency of results. The centre will also collaborate with other universities, business, government departments and organisations such as regulatory authorities.  Swinburne University of Technology, who already collaborate with Swisse, will also bring a wealth of expertise to this effort,’ he said.

As Victoria’s leading global wellness company, Swisse intends to lead the industry in Australia and globally by being the first company to support this proposal. This will provide consumers with more independent, high quality, scientific analysis on Swisse products to allow informed user choice.

To that end, Swisse has already indicated it will commission a six-year research program to scientifically examine the quality and efficacy of its products.

Swisse Wellness Chief Executive Officer Radek Sali has confirmed the company will be the founding partner, contributing $15 million over six years towards the commissioned research activities and establishment of the La Trobe CMEC.

‘This is a landmark announcement and a landmark day. Once again, Australia is a leader in the complementary medicines industry,’ said Mr Sali.

‘Swisse is at the forefront of investing in science and research to support the complementary medicines (nutriceuticals) industry and this new evidence centre is another example of our world leading practices,’ said Mr Sali.
‘We acknowledge the work of La Trobe University as a leader in health and science research, and look forward to working with them on new global best practice and consistency for our industry,’ he said.

Professor Nugent said that ‘once the CMEC is established, Swisse will continue to have its products undergo rigorous and independent, scientific assessment.

‘The CMEC concept allows any company in the industry to access and utilise the centre and its world class science and research protocols. Discussions are under way with a number of other complementary medicine companies, nutraceuticals, nutritional supplement companies and government to participate in the CMEC initiative.’

He noted that the Australian National Auditors office estimated sales of complementary medicines in 2010 in Australia at $1.2bn and the global market was estimated at US$83bn.