Latest Regulatory Affairs Newsletter
A collection of regulatory news from this month.
Top Four Dietary Supplement Trends in New Zealand Revealed by National Industry Organisation
Natural Health Products New Zealand has identified four trends driving dietary supplement market growth in the country, ranging from emerging vitamins and minerals, the Ayurveda medicine revival, gut health, and the incorporation of hemp seeds. Source: (Copyright) Tingmin Koe, Nutra Ingredients-Asia NZ dietary supplement trends
Trends, Packaging and Preparation: Aussie Supermarket Chiefs Reveal Secrets for Food Firms to Get on Shelf
An expert panel from major Australian supermarkets Drakes, Coles and The Natural Grocery Company have revealed that food firms who stay on trend, focus on packaging and come well-prepared will increase their chances of getting their products on store shelves. Source: (Copyright) Pearly Neo, Food Navigator-Asia Food marketing
How Technology Will Disrupt Direct Selling – Are You Ready?
There is a quote attributed to Henry Ford that goes, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” This quote highlights the fact that when it comes to innovation, incumbents and established entities are blind to what’s coming until it’s too late. What implications are there for direct selling models when innovation and disruption is on the rise? Source: Vince Han, World of Direct Selling Direct selling disruption
Quote for the month:
“If you are sad, add more lipstick – then attack!” Coco Chanel
Complementary Medicines (“Dietary supplements”):
TGA Fees and Charges Summary from 1 July 2019
The TGA is required to recover its costs for all activities that fall within the scope of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989, including the TGA's public health responsibilities. A complete list of the new fees and charges that come into effect from 1st July 2019 can be read here: FY 2019/2020 TGA fees
TGA Lists Important Dates for Suppliers of Complementary Medicines
May 2019 - TGA notifies of fees and charges for 2019-20 (becoming effective from 1 July 2019);
1 July to 22 July 2019 – Period for sponsors to submit their declarations of $0 turnover for any relevant ARTG entries;
1 August 2019 – Annual charge invoices for all non-exempt ARTG entries will be issued;
15 September 2019 – Deadline to pay annual charges invoices.
TGA Safety Advisories—
Hair Tonic and Hairpro Capsules: Global Therapeutics, following a safety investigation by the TGA, is recalling all batches and all pack sizes of its Fusion Hair Tonic and Oriental Botanicals Hairpro capsules, due to the risk of liver injury. The recalled products all contain the same ingredients, including the herb Fallopia multiflora. The TGA previously published a safety advisory regarding the potential for liver injury in people who consume products containing Fallopia multiflora, as we reported in the April 2019 edition of this newsletter. The TGA has received 15 reports of liver-related adverse events since 2014 associated with Fusion Hair Tonic and Oriental Botanicals Hairpro, including six cases with markers of severe liver injury. The liver injuries led to hospitalisation in three cases. To date, all cases reported in Australia have either improved or resolved after discontinuation of the product. While the risk of drug-induced liver injury is low, it has the potential to be life-threatening. Source: Hair-Pro hazard
Vitex agnus-castus - potential for interaction with oral contraceptives: Vitex agnus-castus is mostly marketed for menstrual disorders, including symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and/or menopause and acne and is permitted for use in listed medicines in Australia. The TGA has received one report of an unintended pregnancy following concurrent use of Vitex agnus-castus and norethisterone, a progesterone-only oral contraceptive pill. One other similar case has also been reported internationally. Health Canada and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) advise consumers to consult a health practitioner prior to using Vitex agnus-castus-containing products if they are taking hormone-containing medications such as progesterone preparations, oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy. Vitex agnus-castus is also known as Chaste Tree, Chasteberry and Monk's Pepper. Source: Vitex / Pill interaction
University of Sydney Pulls Claims that Elderberries Can Fight Flu
One of Australia’s leading universities has been forced to retract a claim its study showed eating elderberries could help beat the flu after admitting it was overhyping its own science. The University of Sydney also concealed the research was part-funded by company Pharmacare - which sells elderberry-based flu remedies - at the company's request. Source: Liam Mannix, SMH Elderberry abuse
TGA Continues Action Against Peptide Clinics Australia for Alleged Advertising Breaches
The Federal Court has granted leave to the Secretary of the Department of Health to continue court proceedings against Peptide Clinics Australia (Peptide Clinics Pty Ltd) following the company's liquidation in March this year. The Secretary commenced proceedings in November last year for alleged breaches of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (the Act) and the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code 2015. The alleged breaches relate to inappropriate online advertisements for 'peptides' and other prescription-only products. In Australia, advertisements for medicines and other types of therapeutic goods must not be misleading and they must not advertise prescription-only medicines to the public. Source: Court proceedings
Medical Board of Australia Consultation for Doctors Recommending Complementary Medicines
The Medical Board of Australia has released a public consultation paper to seek feedback on options for clearer regulation of medical practitioners who provide complementary and unconventional medicine and emerging treatments. This consultation has been extended until 30 June 2019. Source: Medical doctor consultation
REMINDER: Very Important Information for All Suppliers of Listed Medicines. Don’t Let Your Product Get Cancelled!
Due to the importance of this information we are repeating the story that we placed in recent editions of this newsletter. Suppliers of listed complementary medicines will already know that they must now only use indications included in the list of pre-approved 'permitted indications' and must comply with any requirements for the use of these indications in listed medicines. The new permitted indications requirements apply to all medicines listed under section 26A of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (the Act). This includes complementary medicines and sunscreens. The key transition dates to note are: 6th September 2019 when the 'fee-free' period for sponsors to transition existing listed products ends. After that date an application fee will apply to all transitioning products in accordance with the TGA's Schedule of fees and charges (currently $820 per product); and 6th March 2021 when any ARTG entries that have not transitioned to Permitted Indications will be automatically cancelled. So please ensure that your product’s indications are compliant before these dates, otherwise you will face significant costs or possible cancellation of your product from the ARTG. Source: Permitted indications
Sigma Healthcare to Face Investor Questions Over Claims it Mishandled Prescription Drugs
Pharmaceutical supplier Sigma Healthcare will face shareholder questions over claims that it failed to properly handle a range of popular over-the-counter and prescription drugs that get processed through its distribution centres. There are concerns that product quality may have been compromised due to improper handling and storage, with current and former Sigma workers saying that prescription medicines used to treat bacterial infections, depression, high blood pressure and diabetes were left out in 30 to 40 degree heat for hours over the summer months. Source: Handling of medicines
GSK and Novartis Misled Consumers with Voltaren Osteo Gel Claims
The Federal Court has accepted admissions by GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Australia Pty Ltd (GSK) and Novartis Consumer Health Australasia Pty Ltd (Novartis) that they breached the Australian Consumer Law by making false or misleading representations in the marketing of Voltaren Osteo Gel and Voltaren Emulgel pain relief products. GSK and Novartis admitted that from January 2012 to March 2017, they marketed Osteo Gel as being specifically formulated and more effective than Emulgel in treating osteoarthritis related pain and inflammation. In fact, Osteo Gel and Emulgel products are essentially the same. An Australian Competition & Consumer Commission investigation found that despite having the same active ingredients, Osteo Gel was often sold at a significantly higher retail price than Emulgel. Source: Voltaren collusion
Do You Need an Australian Sponsor for Your Complementary Medicine or Medical Device?
The TGA requires therapeutic products to be supplied by an Australian “sponsor”. The sponsor may be an individual resident in Australia, or an entity incorporated in Australia and conducting business in Australia where the representative of the entity also resides in Australia. The label of any medicine supplied in Australia must include the name and contact details of the Australian sponsor or distributor. For overseas companies, appointing an independent distributor as your sponsor may potentially present a serious disadvantage. Independent distributors may act for any number of companies supplying similar therapeutic products, which can become a conflict of interest. The Australian sponsor/distributor controls the product registrations and can cancel or amend them at any time and has access to confidential product information held by the TGA. RFA Regulatory Affairs can help you set up your own independent Australian sponsor company.
USA Attorneys General Call for Rationalisation of Banking Laws for Emerging Cannabis Industry
33 States and several USA Territories have decriminalised the medical use of marijuana; some now even allow for recreational usage. Trouble is, cannabis is still listed as prohibited under the Federal Controlled Substances Act. The A-Gs of all of these jurisdictions have written to Congress looking for a solution. Until there is some harmonisation of State-Federal legislation in these areas, Federal banking statutes push all financial transactions into a grey area dominated by cash payments and out of reach for taxation and other regulatory compliance purposes. Industry analysts estimate the 2017 revenue spent on cannabis of $8.3 billion will rise to $25 billion per annum by 2015. Source: Cannabis law reform USA
(Related story: USA Lawmakers Introduce Comprehensive Marijuana Reform Legislation, the Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act, to remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), thus ending the nearly century-long federal policy of criminalization and prohibition. Source: Marijuana law reform ).
From High to Health — The Evolution of Cannabis Applications in APAC
Supplements containing cannabidiol (CBD) and functional foods with hemp are among the biggest buzz categories in nutrition right now, but can they become mainstream commercial success stories in the Asia-Pacific region? Source (Copyright): Cheryl Tay, Nutra Ingredients-Asia CBD in APAC
Cosmetics and TGA Listed Sunscreens
Early Regulatory Changes Affecting Chemical Importers and Manufacturers Now in Affect
Whilst the new scheme will begin on 1 July 2020, early regulatory changes are now in effect under the current scheme (NICNAS). These changes will reduce the regulatory burden for introducers of some lower risk chemicals such as polymers of low concern. The following changes are now in effect: no more annual reporting for permit holders and self-assessed assessment certificate holders; shorter timeframes for Approved Foreign Scheme assessments; polymers of low concerns (PLCs) are exempt from notification; expansion of the PLC criteria; changes to the definition of a new synthetic polymer; and no more Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and labels required for cosmetics introduced at low volumes. Source: NICNAS reforms
Raw Potential? New Zealand Opens Raw Milk Regulations Review for Consultation
The New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) has launched an online survey seeking public consultation on the efficacy of current regulations surrounding raw milk. Source (Copyright): Pearly Neo, Food Navigator-Asia NZ raw milk
Formulated Supplementary Sports Food Ingredient Restrictions Have Been Updated
As reported in the February 2019 edition of this newsletter under the story heading “Importers of Formulated Supplementary Sports Foods Receive Warning”, some formulated supplementary sports foods currently being imported are not compliant with the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code) and may pose a risk to human health. As an update to this story, importers of Supplementary Sports Foods are now advised that 1,4-dimethylpentylamine (DMPA) and Phenpromethamine have been added to the list of substances considered to pose a risk to human health, when found present as an ingredient in formulated supplementary sports foods. Source: SSF ingredient update
FSANZ Invitation to Have Your Say on Australia’s Food Safety Management Standards
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has released an information paper on its proposed approach to a review of food safety standards in the Food Standards Code. The review will focus on the requirements for food safety management in the food service sector and closely related retail sectors, and potential development of a primary production and processing standard for high-risk horticulture products to introduce requirements to manage food safety on-farm, including requirements for traceability. FSANZ has extended the deadline which is now 14 June 2019. Source: Food safety review
FSANZ Calls for Comment on Minimum Protein in Follow-On Formula
Food Standards Australia New Zealand is calling for comment on an application to reduce the minimum protein requirement for milk-based follow-on formula in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code). Follow-on formula is suitable for infants aged 6 to less than 12 months and is intended to be consumed with complementary food, not as a sole source of nutrition. Source: Follow-on formula
FSANZ Launches 3rd Biennial Stakeholder Survey
FSANZ Chief Executive Officer Mark Booth said the stakeholder survey measures satisfaction with FSANZ’s performance and explores understanding of FSANZ’s role in the food regulation system. “As always we are seeking responses from all our stakeholders but we are particularly keen this year to expand our reach to small and medium-sized food businesses,” Mr Booth said. “Our stakeholders play an extremely important role in the development of food standards and in other work FSANZ undertakes, so it’s important for us to know how they think we are performing in our key role of developing food standards.” Source: FSANZ survey
Application A1102 – L-carnitine in Food: The purpose of this Application is to permit the sale of L-carnitine in a variety of food categories Source: L-carnitine in food
Application A1168–Glucoamylase from GM Aspergillus niger as a Processing Aid: The purpose of the Application is to permit the use of glucoamylase produced from a genetically modified strain of Aspergillus niger as a Processing Aid. Source: Aspergillus enzyme
Application A1176 – Enzymatic production of Steviol Glycosides: The purpose of this Application is to seek approval for a new specification for steviol glycosides produced by an enzymatic bioconversion method using enzymes derived from genetically modified strains of Escherichia coli Source: E. coli enzyme
Proposal M1016 – Maximum Residue Limits (2018) : The purpose of this Proposal is to consider varying certain maximum residue limits (MRLs) for residues of specified agricultural and veterinary chemicals that may occur in food commodities. Source: MRL revision
Imports Still Impress: Survey Reveals Chinese Consumers Place Premium on Overseas Supplements
More than half (53.7%) of the Chinese consumers surveyed said they bought imported nutrition supplements, while only 7.9% preferred to buy local products, according to a white paper released by the Chinese Nutrition Society. Source: (Copyright) Tingmin Koe, Nutra Ingredients-Asia China prefers
Quote for the month:
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is today” Chinese proverb
Naturally Good Expo Coming to Sydney in June 2019
Attention to all of our colleagues and customers from outside Australia! This might be just the business opportunity you’ve been waiting for to visit sunny Sydney, Australia. Naturally Good Expo is not open to the public and is ‘trade only’. It’s a total business event that’s 100% devoted to all things healthy, organic and natural. As the largest annual event for healthy retailers, brands and practitioners in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the place where serious buyers meet with suppliers for two days of business, networking, education and to celebrate the latest exciting opportunities within the health and wellness retail market. RFA Regulatory Affairs has enjoyed being an exhibitor at Naturally Good Expo in previous years and once again we will be part of the action, helping to support our industry. Plan your calendar now. This is your chance to not only get a first-hand look at the current state of our industry in Australia but also a wonderful opportunity to meet with colleagues and friends down-under. Make sure to call in to our Booth #B43 to chat with us about your latest plans.