TGA committee members must declare conflict of interest

Behind the news

9 December 2011

This TGA behind-the-news article was published on 9 December 2011. Behind-the-news articles are published in response to issues that are of interest to the community at a point in time, for example, subjects that have been in the media.

The TGA has seven statutory expert advisory committees. Members of these committees have specialist knowledge and expertise, and are appointed for the purpose of providing expert advice.

Members of these committees are required to declare any conflict of interest, whether financial or non-financial.

Declarations occur:

  • prior to appointment on a committee
  • at the time of appointment
  • annually
  • on an ad hoc basis when they arise or become apparent
  • at any meeting at which they might be relevant.

Members are instructed by the TGA to err on the side of declaring an interest rather than not.

TGA advisory committee guidelines

From time-to-time committee members will have an interest in matters being considered by the advisory committee. This is because of the nature of the professional expertise of committee members, and the limited number of people with expertise and experience in relevant fields in Australia.

When a member has a possible conflict of interest:

  • The member is obliged to declare that interest at the meeting.
  • The committee then (in the absence of the member concerned) considers whether the member can be present or take part in relevant deliberations.
  • All declarations, and how they are dealt with, are recorded in the meeting minutes.

These TGA advisory committee guidelines are enforced so that there can be no perception that the member will not be able to bring an independent, objective and impartial approach to a particular matter because of a personal interest.

About the TGA advisory committees

The TGA statutory expert advisory committee members are appointed by the Minister and must have expertise in relevant clinical or scientific fields or appropriate consumer issues. These committees are:

The TGA advisory committee guidelines: Declarations of interests, managing conflicts of interests and confidentiality obligations apply to members of these TGA statutory expert advisory committees.