Sunday, May 19, 2024

Therapeutic Products Act to be repealed

The Therapeutic Products Act (TPA) will be repealed this year to give New Zealanders a better regime to provide safe and timely access to medicines, medical devices and health products, Associate Health Minister, Casey Costello, announced today.

“The medicines and products we are talking about are critical to New Zealanders’ health. We want cost-effective access to the right products, to support health outcomes, and to ensure there aren’t unnecessary barriers for our exporters,” said Ms Costello.

“The current Medicines Act is out of date, but the TPA was not the solution. It would have over-regulated some products and imposed unnecessary costs on consumers, businesses and exporters.”

The Associate Minister said that in repealing the Act, the Government was listening to the concerns of industry and consumers.

“Industry groups considered their products would be over-regulated, particularly lower risk products, such as some natural health products. Consumers, importers and practitioners, told us that over-regulation could make these products more expensive or unavailable and I am not confident the Act would have improved approval times for new medicines,” she said.

“To provide certainty to industry, consumers and practitioners the TPA will be repealed in full. It is my intention that the repeal Bill passes before the end of the year.”

Most provisions in the Act were intended to come into force 1 September 2026. As the Act will be repealed before this date, the repeal will not require businesses or practitioners to change the way they currently work and operate and there will be no disruption to consumers, said Associate Minister Costello.

“The Government will now develop a modern, risk proportionate regulatory regime for medicines and medical devices, and a separate modernised regime for natural health products.”

“The new regime needs to back our innovators and health practitioners and to provide timely access to new and promising therapies. As well as improving peoples’ health, the right system will take the pressure off our general practitioners and our hospital system.”

She said the Government will later this year consider proposals for new legislation that will streamline the way in which new medicines are approved and ensure that regulation supports innovation in health and medical products and economic growth. 

“There will be engagement with key groups through this process. I hope we can build on some of the work that has already been done in this area and look forward to hearing from consumers, industry, and practitioners so that we develop the best possible law and frameworks.”

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