Commercialism, choice and consumer protection: regulation of complementary medicines in Australia

Ken J Harvey, Viola S Korczak, Loretta J Marron and David B Newgreen
Med J Aust 2008; 188 (1): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2008.tb01498.x
Published online: 7 January 2008

Complementary and alternative medicines (CAMs) are being used increasingly in Australia, often in conjunction with conventional medicines.1 While the demand for CAMs is growing, the regulatory framework is weak. The electronic lodgement facility, introduced in 1996, has made it easier to place new CAMs on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG). Concern about the regulation of CAMs has been growing among organisations such as CHOICE.2

  • 1 School of Public Health, La Trobe University, Melbourne, VIC.
  • 2 Choice (Australian Consumers’ Association), Sydney, NSW.
  • 3 Brisbane, QLD
  • 4 Melbourne, VIC.



We are most grateful for the information provided by officers of the Therapeutic Goods Administration and the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code Council.

Competing interests:

None identified.

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