Complementary medicines reforms – Permitted Indications, including traditional indications

9 February 2018

The proposed reforms are designed to give greater certainty and protection for consumers regarding traditional medicines, such as Chinese and Indigenous medicines.

Currently the list of descriptions that companies can put on their products is unlimited.

These reforms will restrict that list and action will be taken when claims are made without the evidence to support them.

There has been significant public consultation on the new permitted indications list, including public meetings.

Following this significant consultation, the list of what companies can claim has been significantly reduced.

The list was reviewed by the independent Advisory Committee on Complementary Medicines and amended as a consequence.

The TGA will continue to consult with medical experts to see what the most appropriate words that should be used.

The reforms in the Bill also introduce a new pathway for products to have evidence assessed.

This will make it easier for consumers to differentiate between traditional medicines which have had evidence assessed and those that have not.

Once the new system is in place any companies which make claims that are found not to have the evidence to support their statements, will be removed from the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.

These guidelines for traditional medicines are in line World Health Organisation guidelines on the role of complementary medicines.