News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Tighter regulation of complementary medicines

NZMA calls for tighter regulation of complementary medicines

NZMA chair Dr Tricia Briscoe called for tighter regulation of complementary medicines in an oral submission to the Health Select Committee today.

‘Evidence based aspects of complementary medicine are part of the repertoire of patient care, and may have a role in mainstream medical practice,’ she said. But she warned that the current ‘Buyer Beware’ approach provides for very limited controls and little protection of people’s health and life choices.

Dr Briscoe said that patients need access to balanced information on the risks and benefits of taking complementary products, but that the responsibility for providing this should not rest on the medical profession alone.

‘As a GP, I know how important it is to explain to patients the possible side effects of a prescribed medicine. But patients do not always tell us if they are taking complementary products and therefore the risk of adverse reaction is difficult to both predict and to quantify,’ she said. ‘The industry must take a lead in informing the public of side effects and what steps to take if adverse reactions are felt.’

‘The NZMA considers that complementary products should be classified as medicines and subject to the same rigorous testing and evidence based principles that apply to prescription medicines,’ Dr Briscoe said.

She called attention to recent cases of aggressively marketed products that were adulterated by the addition of ingredients such as NSAIDs and diazepam, Chinese herbal medicines containing toxic substances and the problems with Pan Pharmaceuticals, saying these show we must introduce tighter regulation around all dietary supplements and traditional remedies.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Reuben Moss' Property is Theft! & Kaitani at The Physics Room

Property is Theft! continues Moss’ interest in the contemporary urban environment as a space controlled by pulsing and unequal flows of capital and labour. Kaitani features work by the University of Canterbury Fijian Students Association and Kulimoe’anga Stone Maka. More>>

Handcrafted Form: Rare Treasures From Japan

This unique exhibition at Expressions Whirinaki represents 90 everyday objects made by contemporary Japanese artisans who employ various traditional craft techniques made in regional workshops. The works used in daily life are crafted from raw materials with techniques appropriate to bringing out the best of its medium, balancing ease of use with aesthetic appeal. More>>

Howard Davis Article: A Musical Axis - Brahms, Wagner, Sibelius

Brahms' warm and exquisitely subtle Symphony No. 3 in F major, Wagner's irrepressibly sentimental symphonic poem Siegfried Idyll, and Sibelius' chilling and immensely challenging Violin Concerto in D minor exemplify distinct stages of development in a tangled and convoluted series of skirmishes that came to define subsequent disputes about the nature of post-Romantic orchestral writing well into the following century. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: A Pale Ghost Writer

Reviewed by Ruth Brassington, Richard Flanagan's new novel is about a novelist hastily ghost-writing the biography of a crook about to go to trial. The reader is kept on a cliff-edge, as the narrator tries to get blood out of his stone man. More>>

New Zealand Wars Commemoration: Witi Ihimaera's Sleeps Standing Moetū

The second of several articles to mark Rā Maumahara, remembering the New Zealand Land Wars. The first was a Q&A with Vincent O’Malley, author of The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800–2000. More>>




  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland