CM complaints dropping: CMA

spoonful of vitamins

The complaints statistics quoted by Dr Ken Harvey in a salvo against the CM sector earlier this week are out of date, says Complementary Medicines Australia CEO Carl Gibson.

Writing in MJA InSight, Dr Harvey said that post-marketing reviews of listed CMs found that out of 408 products eligible to have their compliance status assessed, 80% were found to be non-compliant.

Gibson provided data showing that the number of complaints received by the Complaints Resolution Panel in the year from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016 had dropped by 46%, from 341 to 184.

“It’s healthy to have a robust conversation about the future of regulation in our industry, but please let’s have an informed debate – and not a skewed one-eyed view put forward by sceptics such as the fringe group Friends of Science,” Gibson told the AJP.

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1 Comment

  1. Dr Ken Harvey

    Readers can judge for themselves whether the statistics I presented in my MJA Insight article are out-of-date

    First, the finding of 80% non-compliance in 408 recent listed CM post-marketing reviews is data provided by the TGA: Performance statistics report: July 2015 to June 2016 (Figure 4).

    Second, the statement that 98% of complaints determined by the TGACRP are justified comes from the 2015-16 Annual Report of TGACRP activities. In addition, this report noted that while the level of compliance following a Panel determination has dropped this year to approximately 60% (based on the number of recommendations made by the Panel to the Secretary)

    Finally, I agree that the number of complaints received by the TGACRP in 2015-16 has dropped by 46% compared to the previous year (184 compared to 341). However, this does not imply (as Mr Gibson seems to assume) that advertising standards have improved. Some complainants have focused on other areas of concern, for example AHPRA have received over 800 complaints about inappropriate advertising by registered health professionals. In addition, given the ineffectiveness of the current complaint system, others are waiting until the system gets the teeth proposed by the latest TGA consultation paper.

    I encourage AJP readers to respond to the options put forward in this TGA paper.

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