Understanding medicine regulations – what’s the label all about?
When you buy any kind of medicine, supplement or other complementary treatment, be that prescription or over-the-counter, a sunscreen or a vitamin supplement, it is important that you have a certain amount of information to help you make an informed purchase.
The label on these types of products tells you what you are buying, what it does and how to use it. It provides information about how to store the product and it’s expiry date.
Testing and quality control
Before it can be sold in Australia, all medicine, prescription and complementary, has to go through regulation for safety and quality, carried out by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, part of the Australian Government Department of Health.
Australia has a two-tiered system for the regulation of all medicines, including complementary, and it is based on risk:
Lower risk medicines can be listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) (AUST L)
Higher risk medicines must be registered on the ARTG (AUST R)
It is useful to note that some complementary medicines are exempt from the requirement to be included on the ARTG, such as certain homoeopathic preparations. A full list of exempt products can be found on the TGA website.
AUST R products: assessed for safety, quality and effectiveness. They include all prescription only medicines and many over-the-counter products such as those for pain relief, coughs and colds and antiseptic creams.
Prescription only medicines do not display their purpose on the label as the decision for using them lies with a doctor; however, over-the-counter medicines must have a purpose displayed.
AUST L products:only contain pre-approved, low-risk ingredients. They are used for minor health problems and are reviewed for safety and quality. They include sunscreens over SPF4 and many vitamin, mineral, herbal and homoeopathic products. Again their purpose must be included on the label.
If you have any questions or concerns about the products you are taking and the safety or quality of them, don’t hesitate to contact us at: www.naturalchemist.com.au or call us on T: 1300 882 303, and we’d be happy to help.