About ASMI

ASMI (Australian Self Medication Industry) is the peak body representing companies involved in the manufacture and distribution of non-prescription consumer healthcare products in Australia. The Association also represents related businesses including advertising, public relations, legal, statistical and regulatory consultancy companies and individuals.

Our purpose is to promote the best interests of our Members through negotiation, debate and cooperation with a wide range of stakeholders in our own region and around the world. We also gather the best and most current information from diverse sources and disseminate it to our Members to alert them to potential issues that may affect their product or its market.

ASMI is a member of the World Self-Medication Industry (WSMI) and our President and Executive Director sit on the Board of that organisation. WSMI is a non-government organisation made up of over 50 member associations located on all continents of the World, with affiliations to the World Health Organization (WHO). Our membership of WSMI enables us to track and contribute to international trends and developments in consumer healthcare.

ASMI Vision

Better health through responsible Self Care.

ASMI Mission

ASMI - the voice of the consumer Self Care products industry, driving a credible and expanding evidence-based self-medication market to generate cost-effective health solutions and improved public health outcomes.

ASMI Values

  • Drivers of change through Member contribution and industry interaction.
  • Best practice in governance and service.
  • Committed to representation by consumers, relevant industry sectors and healthcare professionals.
  • Consistent in policy and action.
  • A learning organisation committed to competency development.

A Short History of ASMI

ASMI was established in 1974 as the Proprietary Association of Australia (PAA) under Executive Director Harry Jago (who had previously been the Liberal Member for Gordon and NSW Minister for Health). At that time, PAA represented some 50 manufacturers of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. A Constitution was adopted at the inaugural meeting with the first objective being “to protect, foster and advance, in a manner consistent with the public interest, the progress and development of the industries which manufacture, produce, process and/or distribute proprietary products of all kinds…”

In 1990, the Association changed its name to the Proprietary Medicines Association of Australia (PMAA). With the change of name, PMAA embarked on the decade of the 1990s with new focus and a strengthened sense of its profile as the acknowledged peak body in the OTC sector. In particular, the Association took the bold step of pursuing an authorised Code of Practice which was the foundation for today’s industry code.

In this era, the Association became a crucible for testing self- and co-regulation. Greater representation by consumer groups had also been seen as an important goal. It became increasingly vital to initiate the discussion of needed changes to remove trade practices anomalies. Instead of reacting to reviews or minimally addressing the terms of reference for reviews, PMAA entered the process earlier - at the point when terms of reference are being formulated.

This pre-emptive approach reached fruition when the Industry Commission Inquiry into the Pharmaceutical Industry recognised the OTC sector as a distinct entity. Under this new condition, crucial yet difficult issues (such as the lifting of the ban on branded S3 advertising) could finally be approached. At this time, industry gained seats on the National Drugs and Poisons Schedule Committee (NDPSC) and the Medicines Evaluation Committee (MEC).

In June 2000, the Association entered the next stage of its evolution. Signalled by a name change in line with our world body, we became the Australian Self-Medication Industry (ASMI). With this new name we clearly stated our commitment to the entire spectrum of non-prescription consumer healthcare products from OTCs to complementary medicines.

For the full ASMI History, Click Here.

The ASMI Logo

In 2000, noted contemporary indigenous artist Tracey Bostock worked with ASMI to design a new logo for the Association. Tracey’s brief was to develop a uniquely Australian identity - distinctive, contemporary and relevant - embracing the concepts of:

  • responsible self-medication 
  • the Australian National Medicines Policy 
  • nurturing, health and well-being 
  • intelligence, humanity, integrity 
  • balancing science and nature.

Tracey explains the significance of the final logo thus: “The four arcs represent the four ‘arms’ of the Australian National Medicines Policy. The central circle denotes core values. The lines radiating from the centre are paths of reason. The bridges between the four arms employ a motif of supporting structures that connect the whole and allow the passage of knowledge among people.”