Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Drug Recall Points To Flaws In Joint Regulation

Drug Recall Points To Flaws In Joint Regulation

Today’s massive drug and complementary medicines recall by Australian manufacturer Pan Pharmaceuticals demonstrates the danger of rolling New Zealand’s regulatory processes in with Australia’s, according to industry analyst Ron Law.

The mass recall across the Tasman comes as the New Zealand Government is considering effectively handing responsibility for regulating pharmaceutical and natural products over to the Australians, in a Trans Tasman agency.

Mr Law is the former Executive Director of the National Nutritional Foods Association and has been working with regulatory bodies on both sides of the Tasman since 1998.

He warns New Zealand authorities should learn from this disaster, which has seen more than 200 products recalled, 1,650 export only licenses revoked and several thousand more products under suspicion. To date only a handful of products have been removed from New Zealand shelves.

The Health Select Committee is currently conducting an inquiry into Government’s proposal to establish a joint Trans Tasman regulatory agency similar to the existing Australian Therapeutic Goods Agency (TGA).

“New Zealand is being led into joining with Australia on the premise that their systems offer quality and consumer confidence,” Mr Law said. “But you’d have to say a joint regulatory agency isn’t looking like such a good deal from the consumer’s point of view right now.”

Mr Law says there are serious unanswered questions about the Australian regulatory body.

“For a start, if Pan Pharmaceuticals manufactures between 30 and 70% of all products on the market in Australia, as indicated by various reports from Australia, then how come the Therapeutic Goods Agency- with a $50 million budget and 350 staff - didn’t pick up problems earlier?”

“Where is the quality in the Australian regulatory system being used as the basis for New Zealand adopting its regime?

In 1998 the New Zealand Dietary Supplement industry had agreement with the Ministry of Health for suppliers to become licensed and all products to be notified electronically. Mr Law said, such a system would have made recalls a great deal simpler and given authorities more control in situations such as this.

Mr Law said it might be wise for the New Zealand Government to allow Australia some breathing space to sort its regulatory mess out before reconsidering a joint agency.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>


Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election