An improved format for CMIs is on its way, the TGA has advised consumers
“Australian consumers will soon benefit from improved information about the medicines they and their family take,” the agency says.
This is in response to concerns raised by doctors, pharmacists and consumer health advocates regarding the complexity and readability of such documents.
The TGA says that the new format will be shorter, better laid out and feature a one-page summary that “succinctly” provides patients with the most critical information relating to the safe and effective use of their medicine.
“The format was user-tested and received excellent feedback from participants,” the TGA says. “The overwhelming majority of people preferred the new format, finding it easier to use and understand.
“The new template also received unanimous support from doctor, pharmacist, industry and consumer representatives, who were consulted as part of this project.”
Digital enhancements for CMIs were also considered, and may be introduced in the future.
“The Therapeutic Goods Administration will publish the new template along with instructions on its use and is working closely with the pharmaceutical sector to encourage use of this new resource,” it says.
“Given there are several thousand CMIs, there will be a transition period as the various medicine companies progressively revise their materials.
“The Government will update relevant regulations later this year to clarify and standardise the CMI requirements and will continue consulting with medicine companies regarding implementation details.”
The TGA advises that the useability of CMIs will still rely heavily on the quality of the content produced by suppliers of pharmaceuticals.
It encourages patients to request a CMI from their doctor or pharmacist, or via the TGA’s website or Medsearch app.
It highlighted research from the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, released earlier this year, which found that 250,000 Australians are hospitalised each year, with another 400,000 presenting to emergency departments, as a result of medication errors, inappropriate use, misadventure and interactions.
It also highlighted Government investment in the Pharmacy Trial Program and new or amended PBS listings.