ASMI welcomes publication of TGA compliance framework for listed complementary medicines

06 September 2012

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The Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI), the industry body representing evidence-based, non-prescription consumer healthcare products, today welcomed plans by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to publish details of its compliance review framework for listed complementary medicines.

ASMI Regulatory and Scientific Affairs Director, Mr Steve Scarff, welcomed the TGA's transparency.
"ASMI has long called for a more rigorous and effective regime to ensure the compliance of listed medicines. We are pleased that the TGA has published its framework for conducting compliance reviews. This increase in transparency will be of benefit to both consumers and sponsors and we look forward to seeing the published outcomes.

"All claims made about complementary medicines should be supported with evidence so that consumers can use them with confidence.

"It is clear that there have been a number of questionable products without appropriate evidence in recent years. This causes damage to the industry, and we support a strengthened framework for advertising controls, as well as appropriate sanctions, penalties and complaints handling processes."

Mr Scarff said that a strong and effective advertising framework should:
Include clear, published guidelines. Retain the existing self-regulatory processes within a broader co-regulatory system. Apply to all advertisers regardless of membership of any industry association. Apply to all advertising regardless of the medium employed or the audience targeted. Provide timely, consistent and transparent complaints mechanisms. Impose effective sanctions.

"The transparency created by the TGA is a positive step, but much will depend on the detailed plan associated with how the monitoring and review will be conducted in practice, and whether sufficient resources will be devoted to the area to ensure the approach is effective," Mr Scarff said.
About ASMI: The Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI) is the peak industry body for the Australian self care industry representing consumer healthcare products including over-the-counter medicines and complementary medicines. ASMI's mission is to promote better health through responsible self-care. This means ensuring that safe and effective self-care products are readily available to all Australians at a reasonable cost. ASMI works to encourage responsible use by consumers and an increasing role for cost-effective self-medication products as part of the broad national health strategy.

Media contact: Bob Bowden, Foresight Communications (02) 9241 2811, 0412 753 298