Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Ken Harvey awarded ANZAAS Medal for services to science

SPHPM’s Adjunct Associate Professor Ken Harvey has been awarded the 2016 Australian & New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science (ANZAAS) Medal for outstanding achievement in Australian science.

The ANZAAS Medal recognises contributions to science which go beyond normal professional activities. It was presented to Associate Professor Harvey at the Gene Technology Access Centre (GTAC) as part of National Science Week celebrations.

ANZAAS was founded in 1888 and seeks to support and reinvigorate a new phase of public involvement in science, with a particular emphasis on youth engagement and education as well as fostering public interest in science and technology.

Associate Professor Harvey joined SPHPM in 2014 in the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine (DEPM) and has a keen research interest in medicinal drug policy, complementary medicine and the promotion of therapeutic products and services. He has recently turned his attention to the Chiropractic Board of Australia (CBA) and Australian chiropractors’ promotion of therapeutic interventions. He has also been recognised for his services to the consumer movement with a life membership to Choice, the Australian Consumers’ Association.

Associate Professor Harvey initially specialised in microbiology and infectious disease, and his interest soon turned to the antibiotic prescribing habits of doctors in the early 1970’s, when hospital-acquired infection with antibiotic-resistant microorganisms became an emerging problem.

To combat this emerging problem, he helped write the first edition of a booklet titled, “Antibiotic Guidelines” with a multi-disciplinary group of colleagues that made recommendations on the antibiotics of choice to treat common infections. This early experience advocating for the use of narrow-spectrum, more cost-effective antibiotics against pharmaceutical companies pushing the latest and most expensive broad-spectrum antibiotics sparked a lifelong interest in countering the inappropriate promotion of therapeutic goods and services.

He regularly contributes to The Conversation and MJA Insight on policy and ethical issues related to the pharmaceutical industry, complementary medicine and the behaviour of registered and unregistered health practitioners. He regularly submits complaints to the regulators about unethical promotion.

Associate Professor Harvey was a member of the expert group that drafted the World Health Organization “Ethical Criteria for Medicinal Drug Promotion”. He helped set up Therapeutic Guidelines Pty Ltd and has been a member, then Chair, of its Antibiotic Guidelines writing group.

Associate Professor Harvey was also a member of the Commonwealth Pharmaceutical Health and Rational use of Medicines (PHARM) Committee that formulated the Quality Use of Medicines (QUM) pillar of Australian medicines policy. In the course of his career he has worked with a number of international health organisations including: AusAID, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Health Action International on improving medicinal drug policy in the Asia-Pacific region.

SPHPM congratulates Associate Professor Harvey on this award and recognition of his lifetime contribution and commitment to evidence-base science and medicine.

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