Wednesday 17 November 2010


DES Action Australia-NSW has made enquiries to all State Cancer Registries and found there are 20 further cases of clear cell adenocarcinoma of the vagina/cervix (CCA) reported to those Registries prior to 1982. Consequently, the estimate of the upper range figure for DES exposure in Australia has increased.

We can now calculate the estimate in Australia to be 168,000 - 648,000 DES exposed mothers, daughters and sons.

In data held by the Therapeutic Goods Administration to present, there have been 3 mortalities due to DES associated CCA. However, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data up to 1997 for CCA cases in the general population shows 8 deaths in total.

Thursday 11 November 2010

Red Tape with DES in Oz

As we know, it is possible for deleterious health effects to arise after harmful drugs/medical devices have been withdrawn from the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG). It has certainly been the case for DES with the recent finding of increased risk of developing breast cancer in DES daughters over age 40.

In February this year, DES Action Australia-NSW learned in Government correspondence that no single body has the responsibility for providing advice about the risks of medicines after their withdrawal from supply. Thereafter, it is only a stated possibility that the Therapeutic Goods Administration and the Department of Health and Ageing will take actions in dealing with the ongoing health care of affected Australians.

In seeking to have this matter addressed to ensure the Australian DES community is kept informed, DES Action Australia-NSW sent a letter to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. However, there was no reply. A further letter on this matter has been sent to the current PM Julia Gillard (cc Minister for Health and Ageing, Australian Chief Medical Officer).

In light of the continuing research of DES effects on those exposed and subsequent generations and the ever increasing list of harmful drugs/medical devices withdrawn from the ARTG, this is an important issue.