Complementary Healthcare Council

FAQs about complementary medicines

What is a complementary medicines product?
Complementary medicines products cover therapeutic (including vitamin, minerals, herbal and nutritional supplements and homoeopathic products) and non-therapeutic products (including special purpose foods and natural cosmetics). In Australia, complementary medicines are regulated as medicines by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

How many people use complementary medicines?
•    More than two-thirds of the Australian population use Complementary Medicines (NHMRC CAM001 April 2014)
•    24% (1.3 million) of Australian adults with a chronic condition regularly applied CMs to treatment
•    Only 6 % of Australian adults regularly meet the required daily intake of vegetables despite government’ advocacy for nutrition through food. They are filling their nutritional deficit with vitamins and dietary supplements
(Consumer Health in Australia, Euromonitor International)

What vitamins and minerals are most commonly taken?
The current fastest selling Vitamin & Dietary Supplement is Krill oil, which generates over $201 million (growth of 180% in 2013).
(Consumer Health in Australia, Euromonitor International)

For more information about complementary medicines industry, click here

How can I be sure that a product is safe and effective?
Australia has a two-tiered regulatory system for therapeutic goods, based on risk. The TGA is responsible for the oversight of all therapeutic goods in Australia including complementary medicines.

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