Australia’s natural health products industry has welcomed new national rules governing supplements approvals.
The Australian Government-led reforms – passed by the Senate on February 16 – are designed to give greater certainty and protection for consumers regarding particular categories of complementary health products, including traditional Chinese and indigenous medicines.
Currently the list of descriptions that companies can put on their products is unlimited. The new claims sit between CAM products considered to be ‘low risk’ and higher level classification for pharmaceuticals.
To be able to qualify to use the new claims, manufacturers and brands will need to support products with rigorous scientific evidence and pass testing by Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Companies shown to be making claims that are found not to have the evidence to support their statements, will be removed from the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.
Welcoming the prospect of a “world class” supplements approval system, Carl Gibson (pictured), ceo of Complementary Medicines Australia (CMA) said: “The goal is to encourage and reward greater investment in research and development by industry and be an incentive to further expand the clinical research base for complementary medicines, enabling Australian companies to expand business opportunities.”
“Achieving an appropriate regulatory regime – one that is supportive of innovation but that doesn’t undermine the current high standards for Australian complementary medicines – will assist the complementary medicines industry to bring innovative new products to both the Australian and global markets.”
“The use of traditional and complementary medicines is growing worldwide. Consumers have been turning to traditional and complementary medicines as part of a proactive approach to healthcare, becoming more confident in self-selection and willing to take preventive measures to support their health.”
“In a supportive business and regulatory environment, the Australian complementary medicines industry is one industry that has the ability to continue its rapid growth, to support local innovation-rich manufacturing, and Australian-based research and development,” concluded Gibson.
• The most recent (August, 2017) audit of the Australian CAM sector, conducted by CMA, showed that the sales of complementary medicines in Australia doubled in three years to be worth AUS$ 4.4 billion, breaking down into four main categories:
Vitamin and dietary supplements – AUS $2.7 billion
Sport nutrition – £1.0 billion
Herbal/traditional products – $0.6 billion
Weight loss – $0,4 billion
Naturally Good Expo, Australia’s only dedicated business event for the natural and organic products industry, takes place on 29-30 April 2018 at ICC Sydney.