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Website shares information about trans-Tasman prop

3 October 2001 Media Statement

Website shares information about trans-Tasman proposal


Health Minister Annette King today announced the launch of a new website intended to improve public and industry awareness about a proposal to set up a trans-Tasman agency to regulate therapeutic goods.

The website – www.jtaproject.com – contains information about a proposal by the New Zealand and Australian governments to set up a joint agency to regulate medicines, medical devices and complementary medicines and healthcare products.

Mrs King said the project had generated considerable interest from stakeholder groups on both sides of the Tasman.

"This website is one way we can keep the manufacturers and importers of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and dietary supplements, as well as health professionals and consumers, informed of progress."

Mrs King said that although both Governments had agreed in principle to set up a joint trans-Tasman agency, considerable work was still needed to outline how the proposed agency might work before the New Zealand Government made a decision on the joint regulatory scheme.

“The views of New Zealand stakeholders will be crucial to this decision."

Mrs King said it was clear that “one size does not fit all”, and the level of regulation required would depend on the type of product.

"Many medical devices and dietary supplements, for example, are very low risk products. These products will not need to be subjected to anything like the level of controls that apply to prescription medicines. However, these products do carry some risk so it is important that the industry comply with some manufacturing and safety standards and reporting requirements.”

“I welcome and encourage input from all industry groups and consumers at any time during this project, and encourage people to visit the website to learn more about what is proposed."

A discussion paper on the proposals is planned for release about April next year. In the meantime, officials on both sides of the Tasman are continuing to work together to develop proposals, with input from industry and consumer groups.

ENDS

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