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Green Light To Trans Tasman Joint Agency

New Zealand Industry Gives Green Light To Trans Tasman Joint Agency

Natural Products New Zealand, the industry body representing a significant proportion of New Zealand natural health product manufacturers, has welcomed the government’s support package for the regulation of complementary medicines, released to industry organisations by the Hon Annette King.

The document is the result of discussions between the Minister of State Services and the Minister’s Industry Advisory Group and has the agreement of the Australian Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Christopher Pyne.

Natural Products NZ says that the main areas of concern for New Zealand companies have been addressed by the New Zealand and Australian Governments and that the industry can now support the creation of a new regulatory body.

Michelle Beckett, executive director of Natural Products NZ (NPNZ) says from what has been outlined in the document, the New Zealand complementary medicines industry is feeling a lot more comfortable about a sensible, balanced approach to the joint trans Tasman regulation of health supplements.

“All New Zealand manufacturers – but particularly the smaller companies – were facing high compliance costs which would have threatened their businesses. However with the five year transition period to full implementation in the new scheme and a 50% reduction in fees, all companies will be better able to plan for the changes faced under the new regulatory body,” said Ms Beckett.

The Government’s support package also allows for export-only complementary medicines to be licensed to the requirements of the importing country and for the elimination of unnecessary duplication of audits by the new joint agency, the New Zealand Food Safety Assoc. (NZFSA) and the Australian and New Zealand Therapeutic Products Assoc. (ANZTP).

“A more realistic approach to auditing will simplify procedures and ultimately, reduce time and costs involved with the approval process,” said Ms Beckett.

“Regulation of natural products in New Zealand will provide consumers with the full assurance they need that all products are true to label and contain only the highest quality ingredients.

“We have always agreed that the industry requires regulation, however in the past, the draconian approach proposed by the joint agency would not have benefited either New Zealand consumers or industry.

“However, after extensive lobbying by NPNZ and other industry groups for both Governments to provide a fair and reasonable regulatory body, the ANZTPA has presented a cost effective and internationally recognised choice for New Zealand and Australian health supplements manufacturers which we are happy to support,” concluded Ms Beckett.

It is expected the draft ANZTPA legislation will be tabled in the House later this month and a select committee hearing will be held before the end of the year.

ENDS

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