The war on nature, Irish style
Two doctors face charges over use of herbal cures
Irish Independent Friday 21 June 2002
TWO doctors are being prosecuted for allegedly supplying unauthorised herbal cures.
The GPs, from Co Clare, are being taken to court by the Irish Medicines Board (IMB) on charges of providing unauthorised medicines, including a treatment based on the herb, St John's Wort.
A spokeswoman for the IMB said the prosecutions are the first of their type being taken against GPs under the Irish Medicines Board Act 1995.
Dr Pascal Carmody and Dr Freida Keane-Carmody of Tinarana House, Ogonnelloe, Killaloe, each face a total of 46 separate charges.
Two days have been set aside for a special district court sitting in Killaloe in September, where the Carmodys are expected to contest the charges.
The Carmodys operate an exclusive health resort at Tinarana House, set on a 300-acre estate on the shores of Lough Derg outside the east Clare village of Killaloe, where they also run the East Clare Clinic.
When contacted yesterday, Dr Freida Keane-Carmody, who is also a Board member of the regional development agency, Shannon Development, said that she had "nothing to say".
Forty-three of the charges relate to the alleged supply of medicines by the Carmodys to one woman.
The remaining three charges relate to the alleged wholesale sale of medicine without a licence between October 27 and November 22, 1999.
A limited company, Heddonvard Ltd, with an address at the Carmodys' East Clinic, Killaloe, Co Clare also faces the same charges.
The IMB alleges that the Carmodys supplied the same female Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) on 18 occasions between October 27, 1999 and January 31, 2000 contrary to Section 5 of the Medicinal Products (Prescription and Control of Supply) Regulations 1996, under Section 32 of the Irish Medicines Board Act 1995.
They are also charged with supplying Pregnenolone to the same woman on 16 occasions over the same three-month period, contrary to Section 5 of the Medicinal Product (Prescription and Control of Supply) Regulations 1996, under Section 32 of the Irish Medicines Board Act 1995.
The Carmodys also are also charged with supplying the woman with Prozaplex on January 24, 2000. A herb treatment, it is based on the St John's Wort herb.
In relation to the other medicines, DHEA is a performance-enhancing steroid banned under Olympic rules and is an unauthorised medicine in Ireland, though legal in the US.
In the charges relating to the unauthorised wholesale of medicines, the Carmodys are charged with selling by wholesale 804 cough bottles without a wholesaler's licence granted by the Irish Medicinal Board of the Minister for Health on October 27, 1999.
They are also charged with selling Ginkgo Biloba on November 11, 1999 and Melatonin on November 22, 1999 without a wholesale licence.
According to a spokeswoman for the IMB, DHEA, Pregnenolone, Prozaplex, Ginkgo Biloba and Melatonin are not authorised medicines for supply in Ireland.
Ginkgo leaf extracts have been shown to have a wide range of biological activity.
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