Australia and New Zealand move closer to establishing joint therapeutic products authority

Therapeutic Products Interim Ministerial Council
Media release
22 March 2006

The Australian and New Zealand Governments met in Sydney recently and reaffirmed their commitment to an ongoing program of consultations with key stakeholders and interested parties leading up to the establishment of the new Australia New Zealand Therapeutic Products Authority (ANZTPA).

ANZTPA will replace Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and the New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority (Medsafe).

Following the meeting the New Zealand Minister of State Services, Annette King, and the Australian Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Christopher Pyne, said consultation will occur over the coming months on the draft rules for the joint regulatory scheme. There will also be consideration of a range of remaining issues in finalising the establishment of the new Authority.

Ms King and Mr Pyne said that they had also agreed to appoint a Joint Interim Expert Advisory Committee for Complementary Medicines.

The Committee will advise the Therapeutic Products Interim Ministerial Council on the quality and safety of substances appropriate for inclusion in a list of ingredients for use in complementary medicines under the joint regulatory scheme.

Ms King and Mr Pyne announced that Professor Emeritus Tony Smith from Australia would chair the new committee, with medical herbalist Mr Phil Rasmussen from New Zealand as deputy chair. One other member of the Committee, a New Zealand consumer person, would be announced when they had accepted their appointment.

Membership of the Joint Committee will be drawn from both Australia and New Zealand and includes experts in complementary medicine practice, manufacture of medicines, consumer issues, medical practice, herbal medicine, naturopathy, nutrition or nutritional medicine, pharmacology, toxicology, pharmacognosy (medicines obtained from plants or other natural sources) and epidemiology.

Ms King and Mr Pyne said peak industry bodies in both countries had been consulted about the proposed membership of the Committee. (The membership list and the Committee’s Terms of Reference are attached.)

“This is an important step forward in establishing ANZTPA,” they said.

“Ensuring the quality and safety of complementary medicines in both Australia and New Zealand is a crucial objective of the joint agency.”

More information about the proposed trans-Tasman regulatory agency can be found on www.anztpa.org

Media inquiries:
Adam Howard, Mr Pyne’s Office 0400 414 833
Kay McNiece, TPIMC Secretariat 0412 132 585
John Saunders, Ms King’s Office, (64) 4 470 6851

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Terms of reference
Interim Joint Expert Advisory Committee on Complementary Medicines (IJEACCM)
The Interim Joint Expert Advisory Committee on Complementary Medicines (IJEACCM) will consider and make recommendations to the Therapeutic Products Interim Ministerial Council regarding the quality and safety of substances that may be appropriate for inclusion in a list of ingredients for use in low-risk (Class 1) complementary medicines.

The IJEACCM, where appropriate, may recommend conditions for low risk use including, but not limited to, label advisory statements, dosage limits, restrictions on route of administration and restrictions on plant part and/or preparation.

The IJEACCM may also be requested to make recommendations on the outcomes from various consultation processes affecting complementary medicines, or to provide advice on any other matters that may be referred to it.

With the approval of the Joint Agency Management Committee, the IJEACCM will have the capacity to co-opt experts to assist the Interim Committee in their considerations.

Name Field of Expertise
Professor Emeritus Tony Smith, Chair (Aust) Pharmacology
Mr Phil Rasmussen, Deputy Chair (NZ) Complementary medicine practice and Pharmacognosy
Dr Nicky Baillie (NZ) Herbal medicine
Professor Alan Bensoussan (Aust) Complementary medicine practice
Dr Giselle Cook (Aust) Medical practice
Dr Tim Ewer (NZ) Medical practice
Mr David McLeod (Aust) Herbal medicine
Professor Stephen Myers (Aust) Naturopathy
Dr Richard Oppenheim (Aust) Manufacture of medicines
Mr Rob Shaw (NZ) Manufacture of medicines
Dr Karen Silvers (NZ) Nutritional medicine
Dr Natalie Walker (NZ) Epidemiology
Professor Bill Webster (Aust) Toxicology
To be confirmed Consumer issues (NZ)
Associate Professor Heather Yeatman (Aust) Consumer issues (Aust)