Australian supplement body enthusiastic about higher level health claims plan

By Gary Scattergood contact

- Last updated on GMT

CMA says the new rules will cut red tape and allow higher level health claims. ©iStock
CMA says the new rules will cut red tape and allow higher level health claims. ©iStock

Related tags: Complementary medicines, Medicine

Australian trade body Complementary Medicines Australia (CMA) has given its seal of approval to proposed new regulations that propose a ‘third health claim pathway’ for supplements.

The organisation said the Medicines and Medical Devices Regulation (MMDR) reforms aim to ease regulatory requirements where they do little to improve consumer protection but are a barrier to business.

CMA chief executive Carl Gibson said: “Whilst Australia’s complementary medicines industry is proud to be backed by a tough regulatory regime with a world-renowned reputation, the reality is that over-regulation remains one of the biggest risks to the industry.

“The MMDR reforms include the development of a third, modified registration pathway for complementary medicines, with the aim of allowing the ability to make higher level health claims.

“This will encourage and reward greater investment in research and development by industry, and be an incentive to further expand the clinical research base on complementary medicine products.”

Gibson said CMA strongly supports the government’s focus on increased research funding to spark ‘the ideas revolution in Australia’,​ and especially for applied research funding to encourage greater engagement with industry.

“Encouraging and supporting business expenditure on research and development in complementary medicines will help Australia to capture the growing market for these goods, nationally and internationally, as well as provide significant economic and health benefits for our nation,”​ said Mr Gibson.

The burden of disease in Australia and the associated economic costs are spiralling concerns, with statistics showing that half of all Australians have at least one chronic disease, many of which are conditions that are largely preventable such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes. 

“The burden is shared across industry, via increased costs in the healthy system, but also through indirect costs to productivity, added carer costs, increased welfare and disability costs, and foregone taxation revenues,”​ said Gibson.

“Complementary medicines have the ability to contribute to a more sustainable, prevention-focused health system in Australia. To achieve a productive workforce, Australia needs a healthy workforce.”

In the complementary medicines sector, the CMA believes that the 2017/18 Federal Budget provides an opportunity to facilitate industry growth and innovation via progression of the medicines and medical devices regulation review (MMDR)reforms,  promote greater ties between tertiary institutions, research organisations and industry, support further growth of high-quality Australian exports and  focus on building a more sustainable health system for Australia.

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