As published in several news outlets viz: Brisbane Times, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and others, the Choice and Consumer Health Forum have raised an alarm over a proposed bill, which if established, would allow the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) neglect the pre-approval process of advertisements for complementary medicines. They argued that this would expose people to avoidable death as it favors self-regulation.
A regulatory expert, Professor John Braithwaite identified the resultant risk involved in establishing such laws. In his words, he noted that a lot of people could die during lapse between the termination of pre-approval process and post-marketing prosecution that replaces it.
In the same vein, Professor Brefken Harvey of Monash University noted that the bill undoubtedly shows that the Theurapeutic Goods Administration is being dominated by the industry. He said, “A review of the pre-approval system found most of the new advertisements needed changes to avoid breaching the TGA code and the concern is that if we eliminate it and rely on penalties down the track there’s nothing stopping bad ads for a cure for cancer appearing in the newspaper and getting a large number of customers”
Concerned individuals and groups advocates the maintenance of the pre-approval system on grounds that it is “largely efficient and effective” and if it would be reviewed, new enforcement provisions and stricter penalties should be devised prior to the review.
Read more at SMH