And the winner is... Dr Ken Harvey
Over his career, and then in retirement, Dr Ken Harvey has campaigned on behalf of consumers to improve the regulations for the use and promotion of therapeutic goods.
While working at Royal Melbourne Hospital in the 1970s, Ken became concerned about the inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics, and so began his interest in ethical promotion of medicines. After a distinguished career both internationally and in Australia, Ken is currently an adjunct associate professor in the School of Public Health, La Trobe University.
We chat to Dr Ken Harvey, the winner of this year's Consumer Champion award.
Elected to the CHOICE Council in 2000, Ken has been awarded life membership of CHOICE for services to the consumer movement and is a member of our Policy Advisory Group.
Ken really put himself on the line when he went up against weight loss company SensaSlim last year. When he lodged a complaint about their ads with the TGA, SensaSlim threatened to sue him unless he retracted his comments.
He refused, so they sued. After many months of stressful legal goings-on and great personal expense (though costs were ultimately met by supporters) he won his case. The product was eventually delisted and the principals prosecuted – a real victory for consumers.
Ken admits that the line of work he’s in is “frustrating, but you have to keep on keeping on. Bureaucrats change, politicians change, governments change, but the problems remain the same.”
Karina Bray, Senior Content Producer