OTC meds on the agenda


In the lead up to the Federal election, ASMI has called for a greater investment in improving health literacy and increasing access to non-prescription medicines

The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) has written to both the Coalition and Labor Party outlining its priorities for the consumer healthcare products industry.

ASMI says it has strongly advocated for greater investment in improving health literacy and preventative health, growing the consumer healthcare products industry, and increasing access to non-prescription medicines.

“Specifically, we asked the Coalition and Labor to consider … policies and recommendations to elevate ‘self care’ in health policy, improve health literacy and support the consumer healthcare products industry,” it says in a statement.

The Coalition responded to ASMI, saying: “The self-medication industry is a valuable part of our health sector and Australian economy.

“The Morrison Government agrees that empowering individuals to take responsibility of their own health and welfare can result in improved health outcomes and a more cost-effective health system,” writes Andrew Hirst, Federal Director of the Liberal Party in a letter to ASMI.

“Central to this is the principle of self-care. Over the counter and consumer medicines help Australians manage their own health.

“The Morrison Government wants people to be able to have the information they need to continue to use over the counter and consumer medicines safely and with confidence and allow the industry to continue to grow and support Australian jobs.”

Meanwhile Labor responded: “Labor supports and encourages evidence-based health promotion and population health literacy as an important part of improving public health outcomes, including by helping people better manage chronic conditions.

“That’s why Labor has announced a $115 million plan to promote health and prevent disease,” writes the ALP.

“This includes a specific commitment to work with consumers and experts to develop a national platform for consumer information on health and wellbeing, building on existing models such as Victoria’s Better Health Channel.”

While advocating for the consumer healthcare products industry, ASMI confirms it “has not endorsed a political party in the past and we won’t be doing so this election”.

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