The second paper by the Independent Review of Medicines and Medical Devices Regulation also identifies the need to improve access to information for consumers and health professionals.
This is important to the two out of three people in Australia who use complementary medicines, while maintaining their safety and quality in a “regulatory environment that enables growth and competitiveness in the sector,” it says.
The report has received a positive response from the industry. Carl Gibson, chief executive officer of Complementary Medicines Australia, its representative body, called the review a “once-in-a-generation opportunity to shape the regulatory framework for the future”.
“It is necessary to find a balance between a regulatory environment that protects consumers without unduly restricting the ability for Australian businesses to compete in an increasingly globalised environment,” he said.
“CMA supports the government’s stated focus of better aligning regulatory protections with risks and to ease the regulatory requirements where they do little to improve consumer protections and are a barrier to business and innovation.”
In its first report, published earlier this year, the review panel offered 32 recommendations to improve Australia’s regulatory framework and reduce red tape for prescription medicines, medical devices and complementary medicines.
It now makes a further 26 suggestions related to improving advertising regulations, expanding approval pathways and streamlining processes for complementary medicines.
A Government response to the reports is expected in due course.