The Alliance of Defence Service Organisations (ADSO) comprises 14 organisations that represent the interests of serving Australian Defence Force personnel and veterans, totalling around 100,000 members. Their key role is to provide national advocacy and representation to the Australian Federal Parliament and political parties.
In recent months ADSO representatives have provided Australian mefloquine & tafenoquine veterans with invaluable recognition, advice and support. We gratefully acknowledge that ADSO has recently adopted a number of policy objectives that call on the Australian Government to support the needs of mefloquine & tafenoquine veterans.
Mefloquine & Tafenoquine
ADSO encourages the Government to:
a. Formally recognise that many ADF personnel who took Mefloquine and Tafenoquine may have suffered physical and mental harm;
b. Defence and DVA in co-operation have a comprehensive “outreach program” to pro-actively follow up all currently serving and former ADF members who participants in the 2001-2002 trials so that they and their current medical practitioners are made aware of recent research that links those anti-malarial medications with possible long term neurological disorders.
c. Defence Human Research Ethics Committee closely monitors the conduct of clinical trials that it has approved in which coercion of participants in any form could occur.
d. In the event of any subsequently diagnosed or potential adverse outcomes to participants in future medical trials that Defence acknowledge its responsibility to monitor all participants.
e. Set up a joint Task Force that would engage personnel from ADF, DVA and other necessary agencies to provide urgent assistance those in need; and
f. Set up and fund an independent inquiry into the ADF’s use and administration of Mefloquine and related anti-malarial drugs and the consequent long-term effects of exposure to these on both the physical and mental health of ADF members and veterans.