Researchers challenge TGA
RESEARCHERS from Monash University and Friends of Science in Medicine (FSM) have argued that the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) “has failed, and will continue to fail, in its duty to protect Australians from ineffective health products”.
The scientists and public health officials continued their anti-TGA rhetoric at the annual Australian Public Health Conference held in Cairns this week.
Homeopathy asthma products were cited as remedy examples promoted with no warning to consumers that in severe disease their use could result in death, said Professor Ken Harvey.
“The TGA’s latest response to these concerns was to make no decision,” Harvey said describing this as “regulatory paralysis”.
Malcolm Vickers, from Monash University, examined the way the TGA handled referrals from the independent Complaints Resolution Panel (CRP) of unacceptable, often fraudulent, advertising.
He claimed the TGA failed to deal with around 90% of 755 complaints referred for regulatory action.
FSM president Professor John Dwyer criticised the move in Jul this year to abolish the CRP, placing the complaints management process in the hands of the TGA.
Dwyer said initial experience with the TGA complaint system confirmed his worst fears, citing the lack of a search function to assist in evaluation of products.
Conference chair Harvey added, “While this is convenient for industry and the TGA, it’s appalling consumer protection.
“Regulators are meant to keep everyone on a level playing field.
“Without publicising and enforcing regulatory breaches, the door is wide open for misleading and deceptive advertising and poor-quality products.
“We are now seeing a proliferation of shonky products and a race to the bottom by manufacturers and advertisers.”
See more at medreach.com.au.