ASMI Media Releases – 1. Expert Panel Report 2. Codeine Decision Deferred 3. UK Self Care Week 4. Switch Environment & S3 Advertising

ASMI welcomes Expert Panel Report
20 November 2015 –

The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) today welcomed the Stage Two Expert Panel report on the regulatory framework for medicines and medical devices. ASMI Chief Executive Officer, Deon Schoombie, said:

“ASMI supports the majority of the Expert Panel’s recommendations on the regulation of complementary medicines and therapeutic goods advertising.

“We are pleased the Panel recommended a risk-based approach to regulation and accepted many of the proposals industry put forward in its submissions to address the acknowledged shortcomings in the current system.
We look forward to participating in the development of reforms coming out of these recommendations.

“We reserve judgement about the Panel’s recommendations on complaints handling and pre-vetting of advertisements as these two areas are highly complex, involve several inter-connected systems and will require a suite of additional reforms.
We will consult broadly with stakeholders about these recommended reforms to ensure the most effective systems are implemented.

“We disagree with the Panel’s recommendation to retain restrictions on the advertising of Schedule 3 medicines and will continue our advocacy for S3 advertising reforms,” he added.

ASMI welcomes deferral of codeine decision
19 November 2015 –

The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) welcomed the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) announcement that a final decision on the scheduling of over-the-counter codeine medicines will be deferred.
ASMI Chief Executive Officer, Deon Schoombie, said:

“This is a positive outcome. It reflects the views of the great majority of stakeholders and will allow consumers to continue to have appropriate pharmacy access to codeine-containing medicines.

“There is no evidence that cold/flu medicines are being misused therefore current scheduling remains appropriate for them.

“ASMI maintains that a real time monitoring system is the most appropriate way to reduce potential misuse of codeine-containing analgesics.

“The industry, pharmacy and consumer groups have jointly developed a real time monitoring prototype, which will help pharmacists to determine if a codeine-containing analgesic is appropriate for a particular condition or consumer. We will continue to work with these groups to ensure the timely implementation of the system.

“Real time monitoring will assist pharmacists to identify at-risk consumers, facilitate access to education materials and support referral to a pain specialist when necessary. It will also ensure the majority of consumers who use codeine-containing analgesics responsibly still have pharmacy access to them.

“ASMI believes the real-time monitoring system should be part of a package of measures to address potential misuse of codeine-containing analgesics, including front-of-pack warnings about the risk of codeine addiction and information/training resources for pharmacists and consumers,” he added.

ASMI welcomes the UK’s Self Care Week
17 November 2015 –

The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) welcomed the UK’s Self Care Week, which puts the spotlight on ways people can take better care of their own health in partnership with health professionals rather than being passive recipients of healthcare services. Brenda Davy, Project Director for Australia’s Self Care Alliance, said:

“The theme of Self Care Week 2015 is ‘Self Care for Life’. “The health promotion activities in the UK this week encourage people to take greater responsibility for managing minor ailments and chronic conditions and preventing lifestyle illnesses such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

“The current model of healthcare delivery is financially unsustainable due to demographic changes such as the ageing population. This is forcing governments around the world to rethink models of healthcare to put them on a more sustainable trajectory.

“In Australia, the Self Care Alliance is bringing together individuals and organisations across the healthcare sector to formulate new models of healthcare based on the UK’s approach to self care.

“The Self Care Alliance is promoting generational change in the way health services are delivered.

“Healthcare service providers need to rethink their services to ensure consumers have greater capacity to make their own decisions and take an expanded role in their healthcare.

“We need to unleash the power of the consumer, changing the way health professionals interact with them and providing systems and tools to help them to do more.

“The Self Care Alliance is mobilising Australia’s healthcare sector to speak with one voice about self care, aiming to bring about the generational changes in our health system necessary to make it more sustainable as the population ages,” she added.

Momentum building for reform of switch environment and S3 advertising
12 November 2015 –

Momentum is building for reform of the switch environment and Schedule 3 (S3) advertising policy, said presenters and participants at ASMI’s annual conference yesterday.

ASMI Chief Executive Officer, Deon Schoombie, said:

“ASMI’s 2015 conference attracted a distinguished line-up of international and local thought leaders, who put the spotlight on the key drivers of growth for consumer healthcare – cutting-edge product and service innovations, prescription-to-OTC switch, healthcare regulatory reform and ‘Big Data’, which is being used to better understand and meet the needs of health consumers.

“ASMI shared a ‘sample mock ad’, demonstrating the proposed consumer communication model it has been advocating for Schedule 3 (S3) products.
The advertisement is for a fictitious brand in an existing S3 category that can’t be advertised – “Brand FAM” (Famciclovir) for cold sore treatment.

“We have commissioned the Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation (CHERE) at the University of Technology, Sydney to test the impact of this proposed communication approach on consumers, pharmacists and pharmacy assistants,” he added.

Switch expert, Dr Natalie Gauld and Alison Van Wyk, from Green Cross Health, discussed changes in New Zealand pharmacy supporting a more innovative prescription-to-OTC down-scheduling environment.
They highlighted Australia’s more conservative approach to switch, which is holding back innovation in the sector.
They stressed the need for regulatory reform in Australia to increase consumer access to medicines and stimulate growth in the consumer healthcare products sector.

Trisha Garrett, from the Therapeutic Goods Administration, provided an update on the latest state of play on the regulatory front and progress on reforms impacting the industry, such as reshaping the Scheduling Policy Framework, deregulation and the Labelling and Packaging Review.

Consumer healthcare expert, Robert Buckeldee from Nielsen Europe, shared clever ways successful global companies in the health and care sector are approaching innovation.

He said these companies are stretching their brands and providing a meaningful secondary benefit to consumers.
They are also making professional grade experiences mainstream and expanding new usage occasions.
Quantium Director, Tim Trumper, explored the shifts in ‘Big Data’ and the way companies can leverage it to increase customer engagement and business performance.
He said:

“A combination of great data and strong analytics delivers powerful insights, enabling companies to deliver against current and predicted customer demands and preferences.”

Robert Lippiatt, Convenor of the Self Care Alliance, said Australia is on the cusp of a generational change in healthcare policy, driven by powerful external forces making governments rethink the way healthcare services are delivered.
He explained how this generational change involves putting people in the centre of healthcare service delivery and empowering them to take on more responsibility for their own health and welfare in consultation with health professionals, rather than being passive recipients of health services.
Advancing consumer health through responsible self care Finally, Dr Mary Hardy, an integrative medicines expert from Georgetown University in the USA, said evidence is increasingly important for verifying the claims made about complementary medicines.
She said research into the efficacy and safety of complementary medicines needs to ask the most useful questions and have the correct design to add to the body of knowledge about them.

ASMI’s Conference was followed by its gala Diamond Awards Dinner, which celebrated marketing and sales excellence in the consumer healthcare products industry.

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