Complementary Medicines highly regulated in Australia

15 February 2016

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The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) says consumers should only purchase complementary medicines approved for supply in Australia because they are highly regulated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

Steve Scarff, ASMI Director of Regulatory and Scientific Affairs said: "Australia's system of regulating complementary medicines is one of the most rigorous in the world.

"In Australia, there are strict controls over manufacturing standards for complementary medicines to assure the safety and quality of the medicines. There are also strict controls over the ingredients in complementary medicines and only those ingredients already approved by the TGA can be used.

"Labelling of complementary medicines is highly regulated to ensure labels contain the right information to help consumers select and use these products appropriately.

"Complementary medicines, like all medicines, can only be legally supplied in Australia when the TGA's unique identifying number has been included on the label. This unique number is preceded by an AUST L or AUST R, depending on its regulatory classification.  The sponsors of products with an AUST L or AUST R number must hold evidence for the claims they make.

"Consumers are reminded to only purchase complementary medicines in Australia, where they are well regulated, and not online from overseas. They should always follow label instructions and warning statements.

 "The presence of an AUST L or AUST R number is an important safeguard. If consumers want more information about a medicine they are able to use the unique identifying number to look up the product on the TGA's database - the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG).

"Any adverse reaction should be immediately reported to a healthcare professional. The TGA has processes in place to analyse and respond to adverse event reports and ASMI strongly supports them," he added.


Media contact: Marie Kelly-Davies 0408256381