The TGA is considering a number of regulatory changes that will have immediate and detrimental impact on complementary health practitioners. They are proposing that herbalists and naturopaths be considered as mere 'consumers' rather than health professionals under the TGA Advertising Code.
This would mean that these practitioners would not be able to receive educational material from suppliers of herbal and natural medicines, but nationally registered health professionals who have no training in prescribing these medicines will have access to such material.
This is an ominous development, and is symptomatic of creeping oppression of the natural medicine industry along with the rights of the public to make informed choices regarding health.
If you are concerned about this please send a submission to the TGA before 5pm, Friday 12 July 2013. Electronic submissions in MS-Word format are preferred and should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include 'Advertising consultation 2013' in the subject line of the email. Include a cover sheet http://www.tga.gov.au/word/consult/consult-advertising-ris-130531-coversheet.docx FEEL FREE TO COPY AND PASTE THE FOLLOWING: [Modified from: http://www.communityrun.org/petitions/stop-the-tga-and-bigpharma-controlling-infomation-on-botanical-medicine-and-vitamins]>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
Dear Sir(s), Madam(s)
I am writing in relation to the Natural Medicine Review by the Department of Health and Aging, the TGA, and the NHMRC. It has come to my attention that this government is planning to reduce the Health care options available to me (as a consumer and/or practitioner) in regard to Natural Medicines and Vitamins. This review is being disseminated by means of what appears to be a rushed paper that lacks proper community and industry consultation.
Natural Medicines are used by up to 60% of the Australian population on a daily basis, and of these, half of those people use Natural Medicines for chronic health conditions. This in itself saves the Australian Government billions of dollars annually, as the general public overwhelmingly fund these Natural treatments out of their own pocket. Natural Medicine consumers exercise the right to take care of their bodies with medicines that have shown to have beneficial effects, ultimately saving an already over-stretched Government Health System.
I particularly disagree with the TGA’s advertising consultation which includes a proposal to update the exemption for health professionals, outlined in 42AA of the Act, to recognise only health practitioners regulated under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law. The TGA states that it has no formal assurance that those groups of practitioners, not included in the NRAS, are able to exercise specialist judgement when either, treating consumers with advertised therapeutic goods, or advising consumers about the use of advertised therapeutic goods.
I believe that it is disingenuous to state that only those practitioners included in the NRAS are competent to advise consumers about herbal medicine and nutrition, considering that none of these groups ( chiropractors, dentists, medical practitioners, nurses and midwives, optometrists, osteopaths, pharmacists, physiotherapists, podiatrists, and psychologists) have any training in either Herbal Medicine or Nutrition! The TGA has stated that it has no formal mechanism to determine whether all practitioners in the groups listed under section 42AA of the Act are more competent than ordinary consumers to assess advertising about therapeutic goods. I believe that freedom of choice should include access to trained Natural Health Professionals who provide preventative measures that create healthy life choices.
I would like a response from you that these rushed consultations will take into account a wider consultation of the public to include all stakeholders of the Natural Medicine Industry.