Guest article

Quality is more than compliance

By Ian Chant

- Last updated on GMT

Quality is more than compliance

Related tags Complementary medicines Regulation Complementary medicines australia

The provision of high quality products is fundamental to the goal of the complementary medicines industry of enhancing consumers’ health.

Complementary medicines manufactured in Australia are highly sought after in export markets and the demand is growing exponentially. 

Ian Chant, board member of CMA

Our industry is very fortunate that our products are internationally recognised as meeting the highest global standards of quality, safety and efficacy. We are competing on a global stage, and our reputation for high quality is part of Australia’s comparative advantage. It also means that we have a reputation to protect. 

We must strive for quality, rather than simply ensuring we meet regulatory compliance. Every industry member is encouraged to not just meet, but to exceed, the standards set by the regulator, and to conduct proactive testing to ensure the highest quality ingredients are used in our products. 

Through the work of Complementary Medicines Australia and the vigilance of local manufacturers and other interested parties, the Australian industry is cracking down on those few rogue players that offer sub-optimal raw materials. 

An industry quality improvement process has been developed, our relationship and liaison with the regulator has never been stronger, and quality has been at the heart of recent educational events. 

Internationally, our sector supports the American Botanical Council’s botanical adulterants programme to ensure that businesses are informed about the most common causes of adulteration of herbal substances.

As Australia reviews its framework around the regulation of complementary medicines, it raises an opportunity for greater international regulatory harmonisation. 

It is desirable that the regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, which already works closely with regulatory counterparts in Canada, Switzerland and Singapore, strengthens and broadens such relationships. 

It certainly wouldn’t be desirable to our industry—nor likely—for regulatory standards in Australia to be relaxed to the point where there is effectively no or very low standards. 

In the main, the current regulatory regime is supported, and industry recommendations are focused on those areas where the system could be simplified without risking the safety and quality of our products. 

Achieving an appropriate regulatory regime, one that is supportive of innovation and competitiveness, but that doesn’t undermine the current high standards for Australian complementary medicines, will necessitate a delicate balancing act.

Whatever the outcome, our industry will strive for more than compliance.  Australia’s high quality position and its clean green image will continue to be protected by the work industry undertakes in the near future.

  • Ian Chant is a board member of Complementary Medicines Australia

Related topics Policy Oceania Food safety Supplements

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