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Monday, 10 November 2008
Page: 10461


Dr Jensen asked the Minister for Health and Ageing, in writing, on 16 September 2008:

Will the Government provide funding for Doctor George O’Neil’s Naltrexone clinic in Perth; if so, when and how much; if not, why not?


Ms Roxon (Minister for Health and Ageing) —The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

Naltrexone implants are unapproved and unregistered therapeutic goods. As part of the registration process, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) will consider the safety, efficacy and quality of naltrexone implants. To inform this process the TGA will consider the results of a range of naltrexone implant trials, including a clinical trial and associated research into the use of naltrexone implants, manufactured by Dr O’Neil’s Go Medical Pty Ltd, carried out by the University of Western Australia. This trial was funded by the Australian Government through the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Should naltrexone implants be approved and registered as a therapeutic good, they will be eligible for prescription in Australia.

The Department of Health and Ageing separately provides funding of $618 180 to Dr O’Neil’s Fresh Start Recovery Program under the Non Government Organisation Treatment Grants Program (NGOTGP) for the period 2008/09 2010/11. The purpose of this funding is to employ a counsellor, occupational therapist, social worker and psychologist to support the recovery of clients post detoxification, by providing a range of services including professional counselling, education and training, and information and referral to other services that will offer support to the client’s re-entry into the community.

The Fresh Start Recovery Program also receives a further $160 000 under the Australian Government’s Amphetamine Type Stimulants (ATS) Grants Program to June 2009. This funding is for the development and implementation of staff training to better equip the program to meet the needs of ATS users.

Neither of these grants provides funding for the use of naltrexone implants.