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Friday, 7 September 1984
Page: 673


Senator HAINES —I preface my question to the Minister representing the Minister for Health by referring to his reply to a question on 15 June this year concerning the recent ban on importing the cancer therapy drug, iscador, a homeopathic drug available on prescription in New Zealand, in Britain under the National Health Scheme, and in a number of other countries. The Minister in his reply informed the Senate that an appropriate expert committee from the Department of Health would review the information on iscador when it was provided by the manufacturer. I ask: Has that information now been provided to the relevant sub-committee of the Department of Health? If it has, given that there are some 300 Australians who were receiving this therapy prior to the ban on importation and who are anxiously awaiting the Committee's findings, when will the review committee make its final decision on the availability of iscador in Australia? If the information has not been provided, what steps are being taken by the Government to have it made available to the relevant Department of Health committee?


Senator GRIMES —I remember the question, which I think was asked by Senator Hearn , concerning iscador. I remember the answer but unfortunately I have no further information. I will seek further information as quickly as possible from the Minister for Health and give Senator Haines the answer.