The main complaint has been that the TGA seems to have become simply a register of products with some loose connection to the word ‘health’. Their emphasis appears to have been to avoid harm – at least physical harm. But there has been little attempt to assess efficacy of the products, and so the register is full of alternative medicine (or, as commonly known, medicine that has not been shown to work, or worse, been shown to not work.)
In this article, we see a glimmer of hope that the TGA will start providing some real value to the community which it serves – broadening its role to include the evaluation of efficacy of products. The TGA’s national manager has admitted that the sector faced a ‘fragility of trust’, because of the perceived promotion of remedies with supporting evidence. Fragility? Try ‘already broken’.
Predictably, as spokesman for the hilariously-named ‘Australian Self-Medication Industry (who needs a medical education anyway?) thinks any change unnecessary, believing there has been an ‘over-emphasis on risk’ and that there needed to be ‘a focus on benefits, such as helping consumers remain active’. I think he means ‘active and poor’.
Let’s see what happens.