1. New Health Review Report Released – The State of Self Care in Australia
27 February 2018
The State of Self Care in Australia is a review of the ways in which Australia is attempting to encourage and enable individuals to look after their own health and wellbeing.
The role of Self Care in effective health management and treatment is one of the major gaps in Australia’s health policy framework.
This work is the result of an ad-hoc collaboration between three funding organisations, the Australian Self Medication Industry, HCF and Remedy Healthcare and the Australian Health Policy Collaboration at Victoria University.
Self Care is defined by the WHO (2013) as ‘the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, and maintain health and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a health-care provider’.
It challenges many longstanding notions about the role of doctor and patient in maintaining the health of individuals and families and recognises that a patient must be an active participant in, rather than a passive recipient of, treatment.
The review found that considerable efforts are being made to support better self-care throughout the country and there is a multiplicity of sources of information.
Despite this commitment and activity, there is an overall lack of strategic direction to help people navigate the complex boundary between individual and professional responsibilities for health.
There is scant evidence that people who most need support with self-care and self-management are being effectively targeted by existing programs.
Health policy is confronted by the rapid rise in chronic diseases in the population and the rising costs of health care for these.
It is time to rethink how health is supported and governed in order to improve the overall health and wellbeing of the population and achieve better outcomes from investments in health care.
This review highlights that the evident potential of self-care as a component of healthy public policy is not being fully harnessed in Australia. It is time to think again.
The report was written by Dr Maria Duggan and Professor Rosemary Calder AM of the Australian Health Policy Collaboration.
Organisations with an interest in Self Care that would like to be kept informed about future developments in the collaboration on health policy for self-care in Australia, should contact Randall Pearce of THINK: Insight & Advice at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 02 9358 6664.
You can read the full report HERE
See the Technical Appendix HERE
2. Package of reforms years in the making strengthens consumer protections
19 February 2018
The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) has commended the passage of The Therapeutic Goods Bill (2017 Measure No.1), which enable a package of several important reforms that will strengthen protection for consumers.
These reforms include:
* the expansion of the permitted indications (claims for and purpose of medicine) to be used with listed medicines
* the establishment of an additional pathway for intermediate-risk medicines
* stronger compliance and enforcement powers for the TGA; and
* an amendment that extends the current arrangements for the pre-approval therapeutic goods advertisements until 30 June 2020. This replaces the original draft, in which the pre-approval system was to be replaced with a self-regulatory system.
Currently, product sponsors can access a pre-approval scheme that picks up errors and potential breaches of the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code (TGAC) specifically and Therapeutic Goods legislation generally.
This system will continue to protect consumers from exposure to potentially false and misleading advertisements.
It will also help medicines advertisers, publishers and broadcasters to ensure that advertisements comply with the Therapeutic Goods legislation.
The Bill will also provide the TGA with stronger compliance and enforcement powers, including graduated penalties for non-compliant behaviour.
The postponement of the abolition of the pre-approval system will allow for the impact of new self-regulatory measures to be assessed after 18 months.
ASMI has already been working with our members and a range of stakeholders to develop a self-regulatory replacement system and we will continue to do so to ensure the success of the move to a self-regulatory service.
ASMI also supports the expansion of the permitted indications list.
“This will clean up the free text mechanism, which is where medicine sponsors make up their own indications,” says ASMI CEO, Deon Schoombie.
“Now, if sponsors want to market products with stronger indications, they will have the option of using the new pathway for intermediate risk medicines.”
“This is a huge improvement that provides industry with greater clarity.”