Companies abuse market access for complementary medicines

THE TGA’s approach to “easy, quick and low cost” market access for sponsors of complementary medicines is abused by companies who flout the rules up to 90% of the time, according to an Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) review.

Released last week, it said the current approach of basing new listings largely on self-assessment by the medicine’s sponsor “permits inappropriate or misleading claims and the TGA did not use the lessons learned from post-market reviews to target consistent non-compliance”.

The ANAO recommended the TGA make public whether each medication had been subject to a post-market review, when the review was conducted and what its outcome was.

The report made five recommendations aimed at strengthening the integrity and transparency of the process, all of which were accepted by the health department.