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Medicine shortages - don’t get caught short

Information for consumers

2 January 2019

Reforms to the way medicine shortages are managed and communicated will directly benefit Australian consumers.

In the unfortunate event of a medicine shortage that affects you or a loved one, these changes will ensure that you and your health professionals know about it as soon as possible and can take action to minimise its effect.

We've made
changes to
make sure you
know about
as soon as

Mandatory reporting

Replacing the previous voluntary reporting system, the new mandatory reporting system requires medicine sponsors (the individual or company who is legally responsible for a therapeutic good) to report all shortages of prescription medicines and some important over-the-counter medicines within legislated timeframes (ranging from two to ten working days).

Importantly, sometimes disruptions to supply of a medicine cannot be avoided, and mandatory reporting of medicine shortages will not prevent these disruptions.

More information sooner

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) publishes information about all current and anticipated shortages of critical patient impact. The TGA will also strongly encourage sponsors to agree to publish information about low and medium impact shortages on the TGA website. The TGA can also publish information about a shortage in the interests of public health.

You can now be aware of medicine shortages sooner, which will give you more time to get advice and support from your health professionals. In some situations, they may be able to recommend alternative treatments or arrange supply of an alternative product.

Further information

For further information about medicine shortages in Australia, visit Medicine Shortages Information Initative.

You can also follow our Facebook page for TGA news and alerts.