Caution on ‘Alternative Medicine – by M & J Lifestyle Therapy

23/09/2016 12:31

Consumers should avoid spending money on unsubstantiated medicinal products with claims of ‘therapeutic benefit’, which are being sold in our marketplace.

The Consumer Council of Fiji’s warning comes after receiving complaints from three consumers who visited one M & J Lifestyle Therapy run by Jim Kadie which is located in Labasa.  Mr. Jim Kadie provided treatment to the unsuspecting consumers for diabetes, fever and cough but in return were given suspicious medication. Patients were charged for consultation and also for the ‘medication’ that was issued to them by this ‘therapist’.

The ‘therapist’ gave two of the patients unlabelled capsules for their fever and cough and a third patient was given a wrist massage and an unknown liquid concoction to aid with her diabetes.

The woman visited the clinic on 29 June 2016 complaining of wrist pain and also informed the therapist that she was a diabetic patient. She was attended by Jim Kadie who had massaged her wrist with a massaging device. Then, she was provided with a liquid mixture that was filled in a locally produced water bottle. She was charged a total of $50 i.e. $25 for the liquid mixture and $25 as consultation fee. The diabetic patient confirmed to the Council that after her wrist was massaged, it started to swell up and she was later admitted to the Labasa Hospital for an operation on her swollen hand. One of the other patients confirmed that the capsules were of no help at all.

A quick check with the Fiji Medicinal Products Board confirmed to the Council that ‘M & J Lifestyle Therapy’ also known as ‘Kadie Therapy’ is NOT registered with the Board and that it’s not an approved importer or wholesaler of medicinal products in Fiji. But M & J Lifestyle Therapy maintains that their operations is legitimate and their juice (liquid mixture) is ‘work in progress’ and M & J Products are accessible from health pharmacies and are Australian accredited. However, looking at the packaging, it is rather clear that such products cannot be sold in the Australian market. It will not pass the test by the stringent requirements of the Australian authorities.

Consumers need to be aware that any product that claims to have therapeutic effects such as being able to treat, cure or alleviate illnesses and medical conditions must be approved by the Fiji Medicinal Products Board. The board is the only legal entity authorised to register the use of such product as a medicine under the Medicinal Products Decree 2011. The objective of the Medicinal Products Decree is to protect the health and safety of the public by regulating medicinal products, devices, poisons and similar products in accordance with the National Medicinal Products Policy.

The Council is aware that M & J Lifestyle Therapy was issued with a business license from the Labasa Town Council. However, he cannot run this business without a licence from the Fiji Medicinal Products Board.

The Council is warning businesses that are making misleading representation to get themselves in order as they may be in breach of section 77 of the Commerce Commission Decree 2010 where traders can be prosecuted if they mislead consumers about the standard, quality, grade, composition, uses or benefits and performance characteristics of goods and services. The Council is also pleading with the necessary authorities to take appropriate action in this matter.