Date & time
On 30 November 2017, the Senate referred the Therapeutic Goods Amendment (2017 Measures No.1) Bill to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report. A public hearing was requested, but rejected because of the short time-frame encompassing Christmas & New Year.
Regardless, various civil society groups believe it is crucial that a public hearing be held on the provisions of the Bill that deal with the regulation of advertising and complementary medicines. Accordingly, a public hearing will be held and all stakeholders are invited to register.
You can now view and download the program for this event.
The Bill, currently being considered by the Senate, is proving to be controversial because it plans to:
abolish the pre-approval of advertisements for complementary and over-the-counter medicines, which currently prevents misleading advertisements appearing on prime-time television or in national newspapers;
abolish the independent Complaints Resolution Panel and the Code Council, and give responsibility for complaints to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), which raises concerns about: (i) whether the TGA are equipped to take on this responsibility; and (ii) whether stakeholders will be able to have any input and whether decisions about complaints will be transparent;
establish a list of medicinal uses (‘indications’) for complementary medicines that will not require safety and efficacy assessment by the TGA before they can be sold and advertised, which raises concerns about consumer safety, as well as concerns that the permitted list will encourage industry to evade the requirement to have scientific proof of efficacy for their products.
Whilst other aspects of the Bill are positive and have been welcomed, leading experts in regulation and public health, civil society and professional groups are opposing the aforementioned parts of the Bill because they raise significant concerns about consumer rights and consumer safety in Australia.
Submissions to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee inquiry are available on the inquiry webpage.