Anti-vaxxer Chris Savage under fire for launching new 'cancer-cure' website
The Cancer Society is outraged a man on bail for allegedly administering an intravenous "treatment" that left a diabetes sufferer in hospital has been able to set up a website selling products he claims cure cancer.
Australian Chris Savage faces an assault charge after injecting a Hawke's Bay diabetes patient with a magnesium treatment he allegedly said would cure the condition in April.
Savage was arrested the following month and has been living in Auckland on bail.
A website he launched about a week ago sells a range of healing products, including crystal "biomats" he insists cure cancer.
* Public warned against taking Christopher Savage's medical advice
* DHB warning about anti-vaxxer Chris Savage followed man's admission to hospital
* Man claiming to be a doctor has been charged with assault with a needle
The "ludicrous" claims made on the site have angered groups including the Cancer Society, but authorities say because Savage's website is hosted in Iceland, their ability to take action is limited.
Savage told The Dominion Post he stood by the website's claims because he had personally seen a man cured after using a biomat.
He said his site was hosted in Iceland to prevent large pharmaceutical companies from putting pressure on New Zealand authorities to have it shut down, because it could cost them sales.
Cancer Society medical director Chris Jackson said there was no evidence that crystal biomats could cure cancer so it was "ludicrous and unethical" for Savage to make such claims.
"Any representations made to a consumer about the health benefits of a product must be able to be supported with credible, scientifically rigorous evidence," he said.
"We would be interested to hear what the Commerce Commission, Medsafe and the Advertising Standards Authority have to say on this."
Mark Hanna, chair of the Society for Science Based Healthcare, agreed there was no evidence the products Savage was promoting could cure cancer.
"He appears to be targeting vulnerable people, who are already dealing with a cancer diagnosis, and fuelling distrust of the medical system in order to flog his treatments. His behaviour is unethical and dangerous."
Medsafe compliance management manager Derek Fitzgerald said the Medicines Act, which regulates sales, did not cover overseas-based websites.
But the agency cautioned against buying medical devises online, especially when claims were made about treatments of serious conditions.
A Commerce Commission spokesman said no complaints had been recived about the website, but anyone making claims they could not substantiate could be prosecuted under the Fair Trading Act.
Savage, who is due back in court later this month, said he would fight the assault charge because the man he administered the magnesium solution to had been a willing patient who had returned for a second treatment.
But he would be happy to plead guilty to a lesser charge of practicing medicine without a license.