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Australian Government response to the recommendations of the Expert Committee on Complementary Medicines in the Health System

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9 March 2005

The high level review undertaken by the Expert Committee on Complementary Medicines in the Health System identified the need for the Australian regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, to ensure that appropriate standards for all ingredients used in complementary medicines are legally enforceable and that the evidence required to be held by sponsors of complementary medicines to substantiate therapeutic claims be subject to more rigorous assessment. The Expert Committee also recommended that the relevant governments review the regulation of complementary healthcare practitioners, and that the Australian Government take a more active role in ensuring that consumers and healthcare practitioners have access to reliable information about complementary medicines and the skills to use such information to make informed decisions.

The Australian Government consulted widely on the Expert Committee's recommendations. Ninety submissions were received from individuals and organisations in Australia and New Zealand, including government, academia, industry, consumers and health care practitioners.

This Response to the Expert Committee's recommendations reinforces the Government's prime concern for public health and safety, and that Australians have access to high quality complementary medicines and confidence in using these products.

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Australian Government response to the recommendations of the Expert Committee on Complementary Medicines in the Health System (pdf, 607kb)*

Contents

  • Foreword by the Hon Christopher Pyne MP Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing
  1. Executive Summary
    • Introduction
    • The National Regulatory Controls for Complementary Medicines
    • Adverse Reactions
    • Information and Advertising
    • Healthcare Practitioners
    • Industry
    • Administrative and Advisory Mechanisms
  2. Summary of Government Responses to the Recommendations of the Expert Committee on Complementary Medicines in the Health System
    • The National Regulatory Controls for Complementary Medicines (Recommendations 1-19)
    • Adverse Reactions (Recommendations 20-24)
    • Information and Advertising (Recommendations 25-26)
    • Healthcare Practitioners (Recommendations 27-32)
    • Industry (Recommendations 33-40)
    • Administrative and Advisory Mechanisms (Recommendations 41-49)
  3. Government Response to the Recommendations of the Report of the Expert Committee on Complementary Medicines in the Health System
    • 3.1 Introduction
    • 3.2 Regulation Impact Statement
    • 3.3 Trans Tasman Considerations
    • 3.4 The National Regulatory Controls for Complementary Medicines (Recommendations 1-19)
    • 3.5 Adverse Reactions (Recommendations 20-24)
    • 3.6 Information and Advertising (Recommendations 25-26)
    • 3.7 Healthcare Practitioners (Recommendations 27-32)
    • 3.8 Industry (Recommendations 33-40)
    • 3.9 Administrative and Advisory Mechanisms (Recommendations 41-49)
  • Attachment 1 - Expert Committee on Complementary Medicines in the Health System - Terms of Reference
  • Attachment 2 - Regulation Impact Statement for the Government Response to the Recommendations of the Expert Committee on Complementary Medicines in the Health System

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