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Australia and NZsign medicines treaty

10 December 2003 Media Statement
Joint statement with Hon Trish Worth, Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, Australia

Australia and New Zealand sign treaty to regulate medicines and therapeutic products

The Australian and New Zealand Governments have signed a Treaty in Wellington today to establish a single, bi-national agency to regulate therapeutic products, including medical devices and prescription, over-the-counter and complementary medicines.

The single agency, which will replace the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and the New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority (Medsafe), will be accountable to both the Australian and New Zealand Governments. The agency is expected to commence operation in 2005.

“The signing of this Treaty demonstrates a strong commitment by both countries to the continuation of our long-standing relationship and is a further step in the development of a more integrated trans-Tasman economy,” New Zealand Health Minister, Annette King, said at the signing ceremony today.

“It is particularly fitting that this decision should be taken in the 20th anniversary year of the commencement of the Australia New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Agreement.”

Australian Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Trish Worth, said the Treaty is an historic step in regulatory arrangements between Australia and New Zealand.

“The joint regulatory scheme and its administration by a single joint agency represents a significant advance in trans-Tasman regulatory co-operation and will effectively integrate the therapeutic products regulatory systems of both countries, comprising an unprecedented level of international co-operation,” Ms Worth said.

The Treaty sets out the governance and accountability arrangements for the new agency, and how it is to be established. It also provides a framework for the joint regulatory scheme for therapeutic products.

“The Treaty is the result of years of collaboration between TGA and Medsafe and extensive consultation with stakeholders in both countries regarding the new regulatory scheme,” Ms King and Ms Worth said.

“This consultative approach will continue to occur with key players being given every opportunity to input into the development of the legislation which is necessary to establish the joint agency,” they said.

For more information visit: www.jtaproject.com

ENDS

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