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New Zealand, Australia move towards joint medicines regulator


13:53, April 18, 2013

WELLINGTON, April 18 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand and Australia took a major step towards a single trans-Tasman medical products regulatory agency by announcing Thursday a new streamlined process for assessing medicines sold over the counter (OTC).

New Zealand Health Minister Tony Ryall and Australian Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing Shayne Neumann issued a joint statement saying the new process would be rolled out over the next 12 months.

"For the past 18 months regulators, industry and consumers on both sides of the Tasman have been working together to streamline and harmonize processes for approvals for over-the-counter medicines," Ryall said in the staement.

"The common approach to processing applications for medicines sold over the counter signals a significant step towards establishing the new agency."

The reforms introduced more predictability for companies wanting to supply OTC medicines in Australia and New Zealand, Neumann said in the statement.

"The new processes are largely administrative, but will lead to greater transparency and a faster process without compromising the level of scrutiny applied to ensure OTC medicines meet the exacting standards expected by all consumers," he said.

Other progress towards the joint Australian and New Zealand Therapeutic Products Agency included the Joint Adverse Events Notification System for medicines giving the public access online to adverse events associated with medicines and a Trans-Tasman early warning system to alert health professionals and consumers to safety concerns with medicines and medical devices to be launched later this year.

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:YaoChun、Liang Jun)

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