This industry is based on pseudo-science and monetary gain at the disadvantage of menopausal women. Narration: Late last year the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission launched action against the Menopause Institute of Australia.
They admitted to making around 75 medical claims about natural hormones that were misleading and deceptive.
Narration: Anne was keen to try something natural to treat her debilitating menopausal symptoms.
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Denise: I think they put natural on things to suck people in, and it does. (laugh) Dr Maryanne Demasi: We see a lot of natural products on the shelves of supermarkets and chemists, but what does natural mean when we talk about drugs? Professor Alastair Mac Lennan: Natural has no connotation of safety in real life.
Beware anybody saying natural, they might be trying to mislead you.
Theyre individually made up in compounding pharmacies.
Narration: Professor Mac Lennans concerned that some of the hormones theyre using could be dangerous.
Were dealing with a natural substance that we give in low amounts and to me this just makes common sense.
Narration: Bioidentical hormones arent pre-packaged like most drugs.
And she said I was on massive doses of testosterone.
Narration: Professor Mac Lennan believes these situations are inevitable given the lack of testing of these hormones.
Professor Alastair Mac Lennan: Theres no independent regulated quality control, such as the therapeutic goods administration of the hormones coming in or of the actual compounding.
But more particularly Im worried about the concentrations of the hormones and mixtures that have never been tested for their safety and long-term efficacy.
Narration: But it wasnt long before disaster struck. Dr Maryanne Demasi: And what was the explanation the doctor gave you for the collapse?