Terms of Reference for the Homeopathy Working Committee
The Homeopathy Working Committee will guide the development of a review of the literature addressing the effectiveness of homeopathy (the Homeopathy Review) by providing advice to the Office of the NHMRC on:
- methods to identify relevant published guidelines, systematic reviews, government reports and evidence submitted by relevant bodies; and
- methods to evaluate relevant published guidelines, systematic reviews, government reports and evidence submitted by relevant bodies.
The Homeopathy Working Committee will consider the outcomes of the Homeopathy Review and use these findings to inform the development of:
- an information paper1on homeopathy; and
- position statement2 on homeopathy, for consideration by NHMRC Council.
3. The Homeopathy Working Committee will advise on the Homeopathy Review, information paper and position statement for NHMRC’s Health Care Committee, before recommendation to Council.
The Homeopathy Working Committee is effective from 2 April 2012 and appointments were originally scheduled to conclude on 30 June 2013. Appointments have been extended to 2 April 2015. The Homeopathy Working Committee will report to NHMRC’s Health Care Committee.
1An information paper “gives sufficient information to enable the target audience to understand the issues and options associated with a particular topic”. The paper will summarise the evidence but will not make any recommendations about the use of homeopathy.
2A position statement “declares NHMRC’s particular position in a current area of debate, and outlines the rationale for that position”.
Membership and Disclosures of Interest
Professor Paul Glasziou (Chair) (MB BS, PhD, FRACGP)
Professor Paul Glasziou is an expert in evidence-based medicine. Professor Glasziou is currently Professor and Director of the Centre for Research into Evidence-Based Practice at Bond University and has worked as a part-time general practitioner since 1993. From 2003-2010 he was the Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University. His research and teaching interests are in improving medical decision making, including clinical trials, systematic reviews, clinical monitoring, and evidence-based medicine. He is the recipient of an NHMRC Australia Fellowship which he commenced at Bond University in July 2010.
Disclosed Interest: NIL
Professor Frederick Mendelsohn (MB BS, PhD, MD, FRACP)
Professor Frederick Mendelsohn is one of Australia’s most prominent neuroscientists. He graduated from Medicine at the University of Melbourne in 1965 and continued his training as a medical registrar at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Professor Mendelsohn subsequently became an honorary physician (1971-1972) and then a senior physician (1977-1996) at the Austin Hospital, Melbourne. He completed his PhD in 1972 and has continued to develop a strong research background with over 295 publications. He was noted for his distinguished contribution as Chair in Medicine at the University of Melbourne from 1990-1996, and during this time was the Scientific Director of the Positron Emission Tomography Centre, Austin Hospital.
Professor Mendelsohn was elected to the Australian Academy of Science in 2003 and received an Order of Australia, Officer in the General Division, in 2004. In 2008 he retired as the Director of the Howard Florey Institute at the University of Melbourne, a position he held since 1996.
Disclosed Interest: NIL
Professor Peter Brooks (AM.MBBS MD FRACP FAFRM FAFPHM MDHonCausa FRCP)
Professor Peter Brooks is a Professorial Fellow at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne and is the Executive Director of Research at the Northern Hospital. Professor Brooks is a rheumatologist with a major research interest in the treatment and epidemiology of rheumatic diseases. He is a recognised international expert in this area. He was Executive Dean of Health Sciences at the University of Queensland from 1998 until 2009. During this time, he established the Australian Centre for Complementary Medicine Education and Research (ACCMER). ACCMER was a joint venture between the University of Queensland’s Faculty of Health Sciences and the Southern Cross University's School of Natural and Complementary Medicine. This research and education centre aimed at delivering innovative health benefits by integrating complementary and conventional medicines through a multi-disciplinary approach.
Disclosed Interest: Professor Brooks was previously a member of Friends of Science in Medicine (FSM) until 16 April 2012. Prof Brooks resigned from FSM as he did not share FSM’s views on CAM education and research programs. Prof Brooks was also involved in establishing the Australian Centre for Complementary Medicine Education and Research (ACCMER) (see details above).
Associate Professor Evelin Tiralongo (BPharm (Hons) PhD GradCertHigherEd)
Associate Professor Evelin Tiralongo is a foundation member of Griffith University’s Pharmacy School and is the schools’ discipline head for complementary medicine (CM) teaching and research. She is a German trained and registered pharmacist with an Honours degree in herbal medicine and a PhD in biochemistry. She gained extensive practical experience in integrative medicine as a registered pharmacist in German and has also completed her Australian registration as a pharmacist.
Her research focusses on CMs and natural products, and spans laboratory to practice based and clinical projects. As a chief investigator she has won over $1.3 million in research funding and has co-authored 38 peer-reviewed publications and one patent and designed online CM resources for ‘Pharmacology for Health Professionals’ by Bryant et al.
Evelin acts as a reviewer and editor for several internationally recognised CAM journals (e.g. eCAM) and has served on the scientific board of international conferences and forums (e.g. ICMAN5).
Evelin conducts continuous professional development seminars on CMs to pharmacists and other healthcare professionals and is co-founder of the Short Course in Integrative Medicine.
Disclosed Interest: Associate Professor Tiralongo teaches complementary medicines to undergraduate pharmacy students at Griffith University and as part of a Continued Professional Development (CPD) accredited short course for Pharmacists. As part of this, Associate Professor Tiralongo discusses homeopathic medicines with undergraduate students (1 lecture) and briefly explains homeopathic medicines to pharmacists as part of an introduction lecture for the CPD course. Associate Professor Tiralongo has also assisted in the development of the Griffith University online content for the Blackmores Institute Complementary Medicine Training for Pharmacists. Associate Professor Tiralongo received no personal gain as a result of this work.
Dr Nikolajs Zeps (BSc (Hons), PhD)
Dr Nikolajs Zeps is a PhD scientist involved in translational research in breast, gastrointestinal and gynaecological malignancies. He is Director of Research at St John of God Subiaco Hospital and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Surgery and School of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Western Australia and in the Department of Medicine at the University of Notre Dame.
Dr Zeps is also a current member of NHMRC’s Research Committee and a founding member of the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance.
Disclosed Interest: NIL
Mr John Stubbs (BA Dip Acct)
Mr Stubbs is Chief Executive Officer of canSpeak, a national cancer consumer organisation and a regular speaker at medical conferences and seminars on cancer advocacy, clinical trials and health related issues. He is a survivor of Leukaemia and an active representative of cancer consumers.
Mr Stubbs holds a number of board and committee appointments at both the Commonwealth and state level. He holds degrees in accounting and arts and has 30 years experience in the public and private sectors, including 10 years operating his own management consultancy business. He is an Honorary Associate of the School of Medicine, University of Sydney for his work on clinical trials. Mr Stubbs has contributed to a number of booklets, edited consumer booklets for the Cancer Council and contributed to government policy on cancer, cancer services and the value of consumer involvement.
Mr Stubbs is also a current member of NHMRC's Consumer Consultative Group (CCG).
Disclosed Interest: NIL
Professor Chris Baggoley (BVSc (Hons), BM BS, B Soc Admin, FACEM, FIFEM)
Professor Chris Baggoley is the Australian Government’s Chief Medical Officer. Professor Baggoley was appointed to the Homeopathy Working Committee on 10 May 2012. From 18 March 2013, he advised that his role would be limited to an observer due to his interest regarding the Department of Health and Ageing’s Natural Therapy Review Advisory Committee of which he is Chair. Professor Baggoley decided not to extend his observer role beyond 30 June 2013.