Complementary Medicines and Medical Devices:

Pharmacovigilance Obligations - important reading, scroll down for full story


Changes to permitted ingredients list

This explains how often and why changes are made to the list. “High-moderate risk changes” have been made for Andrographis paniculata and caffeine.    Source: TGA


Consultation on proposed improvements to the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code

The deadline for comments is close of business Friday 18th June. Full details on TGA site here and also on the consultation hub.


Unlawful advertising of a complementary medicine

Global Therapeutics has paid penalties of $119,880 in response to nine infringement notices issued by the TGA. The infringement notices related to five listed complementary medicines sponsored by Global Therapeutics. The advertising of these medicines was alleged to refer to serious conditions without approval or permission of the TGA, contravene requirements of the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code, and include therapeutic uses that were not accepted as indications for the medicines.    Source: TGA


Peter Evans Chef Pty Ltd  fioned $79,920 for alleged unlawful advertising 

Fines were issued to the company for the alleged advertising of therapeutic goods that were not, at the time of advertising, included in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods. These include the 'BioCharger' device, hyperbaric oxygen therapy chambers and two oral medicines. This is in addition to two fines issued in 2020.    Source: TGA


Warning about unlawful advertising of listed medicines

This warning is particularly relevant to products that were cancelled in March 2021 for not transitioning to only include permitted indications.    Source: TGA


ACCC issues five infringement notices to Mosaic Brands for alleged false or misleading representations

Mosiac Brands has paid penalties totalling $630,000 advertising breaches related to hand sanitisers and face masks:

  • Air Clean hand sanitiser sold on the NoniB website contained 70 per cent alcohol, when a sample tested by the ACCC was found to contain 17 per cent alcohol;
  • Miaoyue hand sanitiser sold by Millers contained 75 per cent alcohol, when a sample tested by the ACCC was found to contain 58 per cent alcohol;
  • Velcare-branded hand sanitiser products sold on its websites were ‘WHO-approved’, when they were not;
  • KN95 Kids Safety Face Masks sold on its websites were ‘CE/FDA certified’, when they were not; and
  • KN 95 Adult Face Masks were” non-refundable”, when in fact consumers have a statutory right to a refund under the consumer guarantee remedies.

Source: ACCC


Proposed amendments to the poisons schedule

Includes amygdalin and hydrocyanic acid, sodium nitrite and many other compounds.    Sources: TGA, TGA, TGA, TGA


Medicinal cannabis

TGA warns about some counterfeit products being sold online, and summarises how to legally obtain medicinal cannabis. It is illegal to advertise medicinal cannabis.    Source: TGA


Recall - Hydralyte Strawberry Kiwi Effervescent Electrolyte Tablets

Care Pharmaceuticals is recalling 10 batches of Hydralyte Strawberry Kiwi Effervescent Electrolyte Tablets due to the presence of Carthamus tinctorius flower (safflower flower) as an inactive ingredient. The level of exposure of Carthamus tinctorius flower in this product poses an unacceptable risk if used in pregnancy.    Source: TGA


‘Meeting Your Obligations’ workshop

The TGA is live streaming another ‘Meeting Your Obligations’ workshop on Wednesday 23 June 2021. This is a free event aimed at beginners unfamiliar with therapeutic goods regulation. Registration page is here.


Medical device regulation reforms

Some medical devices are to be re-classified to align, wherever possible, with the changes being introduced in European Union medical devices framework. Comprehensive summary on TGA site.


Guidance on regulation of exempt disinfectants, and regulation of listed disinfectants

Listed disinfectants may make more specific claims, but listed disinfectants must still meet certain regulation requirements even though they are not required to be included on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods. TGA sources: listed disinfectants and exempt disinfectants.


Changes to regulation of nicotine e-cigarettes

From 1 October 2021 you will no longer be able to buy or import nicotine e-cigarettes or nicotine vaping products from overseas websites without a valid doctor's prescription. Child resistant closures for nicotine vaping products will also become mandatory to reduce the risk to children of accidental ingestion.    Source: TGA


Large number of N95 face masks ailing tests.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, one third of N95 face masks have failed testing. In the last 12 months, 48 defect alerts have been issued and 1,022 masks have had their registration cancelled.    Source: and TGA


Faecal microbiota transplant products (“poo transplants”)

A faecal microbiota transplant product (a) comprises, contains or is derived from human stool; and (b) is for introduction into a person for a therapeutic use. Most are regulated as biologicals. What are they used for? Refer to TGA


Pharmacovigilance Obligations

Sponsors of all medicines including complementary medicines, are obliged to notify the TGA who they have nominated to be their pharmacovigilance contact person. Pharmacovigilance is the science and activity related to detecting, assessing, understanding and preventing adverse effects and other medicine-related problems. As a sponsor of medicines you must:

Helpful information is on the TGA website here and in the links above. FAQ page is here.

Earlier this month the TGA announced it has issued an infringement notice for $13,320 to Arthropharm Pty Ltd for allegedly failing to provide information on a contact person responsible for medicine safety. Source: TGA

Training course in pharmacovigilance: RFA offers a training course which covers TGA pharmacovigilance obligations and the mandatory reporting requirements of sponsors who have complementary medicines (AUST L) included on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.  The course includes 1 hour of training and a comprehensive package of documents including SOPs and templates that you can use. The course is conducted by appointment via Zoom. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..




Australian and New Zealand honey producers in dispute over the word Manuka

The New Zealand government is throwing its support behind the Manuka Honey Appellation Society, which represents a group of New Zealand producers, for a certification mark on the word “manuka”. The Australian Manuka Honey Association is opposing the application. Manuka honey is produced from the nectar of Leptospermum scoparium, which is indigenous to both Australia and New Zealand.    Source: Sydney Morning Herald


Recall of “Yummy” snacks due to presence of soy and wheat

Yummy Snack Foods has recalled their Pink Berry Bliss, Drake Brand Strawberry Yoghurt Mix, Yummy Brand Choc Orange Lounge Mix, and Drake Brand Chocolate Orange Mix (400g) with all best before dates. The recall was due to the presence of undeclared allergens, soy and wheat.    Source:


FSANZ calls for comment: Processing aid from a new source

FSANZ is calling for comment on an application to allow an already approved processing aid to be produced from a new genetically modified (GM) source. The enzyme β-galactosidase is already approved in the Food Standards Code and has a long history of safe use. This application is looking to produce the same enzyme from a GM strain of Bacillus subtilis.    Source: FSANZ


Review of the standard for Infant Formula

FSANZ is calling for comments on Proposal P1028– Infant Formula Products Consultation paper 1. To read about the background and learn how to make a submission, refer to FSANZ website. Also at this site there is information on a proposed new method of analysing for dietary fibre - the AOAC method 2017.16 (Rapid Integrated Total Dietary Fibre Method).


Failing Food Report – March 2021

Foods inspected at the border, includes risk food test results (Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, E. coli, aflatoxin, hydrocyanic acid, iodine) and surveillance food test results (including additives and vitamins not permitted in certain foods).    Source: Dept of Agriculture, Water and Environment


Approvals and amendments to the Food Standards Code

A1193 – Irradiation as a phytosanitary measure for all fresh fruit and vegetables

A1206 – Subtilisin from GM Bacillus licheniformis as a PA (enzyme)

A1207 – Rebaudioside M as Steviol Glycoside

A1216 – Food derived from herbicide-tolerant canola line MON94100

Application A1205 – Disodium Adenosine 5’ Triphosphate as a nutritive substance in sport foods: Application to amend the Food Standards Code to permit the use of Disodium Adenosine 5’ Triphosphate (Na2ATP) as a nutritive substance in Standard 2.9.4 - Formulated Supplementary Sports Foods.



Cosmetics, Personal Care and TGA Listed Sunscreens:

Registration of a business that imports industrial chemicals

This is relevant to any business that imports cosmetics or ingredients to be used in cosmetics. This summary guide explains who must register, and which chemicals do not require categorisation and registration.    Source: AICIS


List of chemicals added to the Inventory during May 2021

10 chemicals listed by name and CAS numbers.    Source: AICIS


Banned or restricted chemicals

In Australia, there is no single list of banned or restricted chemicals that you can view or download. Bans and restrictions on chemicals and consumer product ingredients – including cosmetics – are regulated by each state and territory authority. This guide lists a number of sources of chemical legislation.    Source: AICIS


Cosmetics and therapeutics

Products are determined to be either ‘cosmetics’ or ‘therapeutic goods’ based on three factors:

  • the primary use of the product
  • the ingredients in the product
  • the claims made about the product

A cosmetic product is a substance designed to be used on any external part of the body – or inside the mouth – to change its odour or appearance, cleanse it, keep it in good condition or protect it.    Source: AICIS

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