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
"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