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  • 18 Jul 2019 1:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Carl Gibson

    I am delighted to share that Complementary Medicines Australia (CMA) has been named Association of the Year.

     

    As the CEO, I was humbled to accept the award in front of over five hundred delegates from Australia’s not-for-profit sector at a gala dinner held at the Parliament of Australia, Canberra, on 15 July 2019. The prestigious award was presented by John Peacock of the Associations Forum, a body committed to assisting associations in governance, operations, membership and finances.

     

    Accepting this highly coveted award was something I was very proud to do. It demonstrates CMA’s professionalism and commitment to its members, members who deliver the highest quality complementary medicines to our consumers.

     

    So how did all of this come about?

    At CMA, we develop our Vision and Strategy on a five-year basis. Vision 2020 set out our strategic plan for the period 2014-2020 and was delivered successfully two years earlier than anticipated. We are now working on our new Strategy: 2025 Health Industry Health People.

     

    As part of the development process, we engage the CMA Board of Directors with a professional facilitator to establish the framework and consult with members with a Member Roadshow. Their input is vital to developing our shared strategy. Part of the CMA Vision and Strategy is the development of a clear and concise work program that supports the organisation's Strategy.

     

    CMA Directors track the delivery of the work program at each Board Meeting so that we can assess our successes and learning points.

    • The work program is shared with our members to ensure that as an industry, we are united in our goals. This approach has led to extraordinary industry growth.
    • Good governance is vital. My background includes a Master of Science in Corporate Governance, and this is an area which is always uppermost in all of our actions. We pride ourselves on having robust systems and processes in place; these are reviewed annually.

     

    Successes and Achievements

    Healthplex – opening up new markets

    Recently in Shanghai, CMA’s Australian Pavilion at China HealthPlex united 18 Australian brands under one banner. Australia was host to the biggest international pavilion and it successfully showcased the best of Australia to our largest export market, China. The aim was to open up a vital new income stream for the association and for industry.

     

    Cutting-edge Seminars
    A new initiative was launched this year: Business Seminars. The aim was to enable our Service Provider Members the opportunity to host a webinar open to our members showcasing the latest trends, opportunities and offerings. From PR & Communications to Export opportunities, the webinars are now held monthly and attract an ever-growing number of participants.

     

    Innovation Day and Supplier Expo

    Innovation is the lifeblood of our industry – access to new ingredients is vital to our ongoing success. Thus, CMA launched a new conference showcasing innovation and providing expo space for our industry suppliers attracting over 250 participants and generating a new income stream.

     

    Recommendations implemented

    Following an extensive review of regulation into the Complementary Medicines sector over three years by an expert panel established by the Prime Minister, the Government commenced the introduction of new rules and regulations of our industry. CMA successfully negotiated over 95% of our recommendations be implemented as part of the reforms. Australia is now at the forefront of the most progressive legislation for our sector in the world, with policies that promote the industry, protect research and reward innovation. We are the only country in the world to offer two-year market exclusivity for new natural ingredients – and that’s a world first!

     

    Made in Australia

    The complementary medicines industry was significantly impacted after a change to Australian Consumer Law, were as an unintended consequence of food sector reforms, many Australian manufactured CM products would no longer be able to claim: ‘Made in Australia’. CMA successfully advocated that this unintended consequence would harm our $1 Billion export market and risk manufacturing industry jobs. After a concerted campaign and task force meetings, the Government announced it would reinstate a clear policy that would enable our sector to confidently make a ‘Made in Australia’ claim, a key factor for companies seeking an international competitive edge.

     

    Vitamins and Dietary Supplements

    CMA conducts an annual industry audit of the sector. The latest 2018 industry audit revealed that industry sales have grown to over $5.2 Billion. The Vitamin and Dietary Supplement category alone has doubled over the last ten years.

    The industry has grown $2 billion over the last five years, with healthy growth in our export markets generating over $1 Billion in revenue – accounting now for 20% of all sales.

     

    Australia is now Number one Importer into China for Nutrition and Health Food

    I am proud to say that Australia has become the largest source of Nutrition and Health Food Imports with an import volume of AU $940 million (US $670 Million). Australia achieved a 60.8% year on year growth of imports into China of Nutrition and Health Food Imports

    Source: China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Medicines and Health food Products (CCCMHPIE)

     

    A Leading Association

    As an organisation, CMA has experienced a transformation over the last five years. As an Association, we are now relevant and successful in representing our membership. Our vision, mission and strategy are clear and, as an industry, we are united. CMA has gone from representing around 50% of the sector to over 85%. We have doubled our financial reserves providing financial stability and security and a much-needed fighting fund for the future. CMA has grown its revenues as an Association from $1.6 million to $2.8 million by adding additional member services and developing our service offerings. We have transformed into a healthy association, thanks to the support and guidance of the Associations Forum.

     

    I am so proud of our achievements so far and would like to stress that our commitment to providing leadership, strategy, advocacy and support to our important industry remains our top priority.  

     

    Being recognised as the Association of the Year acknowledges our association as having achieved all-round excellence with demonstrated ability to influence government decision making, deliver world-class conferences and exhibitions and publish meaningful market intelligence. It also acknowledges the fact that thanks to careful financial management, CMA works hard to provide valuable services in the most cost appropriate way for members great and small. The award is also recognition of the continual evolution that helps to ensure that CMA is and remains relevant to the dynamic needs of our member businesses.

     

    Inspirational direction from the Board of Directors and the support of a highly engaged membership has meant that CMA can assist the complementary medicines industry in Australia to grow, create jobs, demonstrate and deliver world-class quality products, operate sustainably and open new doors to international trade. Being named Association of the Year recognises the dedicated individuals who work to ensure that we are and will continue to be an integral partner to our important industry.


     

  • 16 Jul 2019 11:51 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Complementary Medicines Australia (CMA) is delighted to be named ‘2019 Association of the Year’.

     

    Carl Gibson, CEO of CMA, accepted the award in front of over five hundred stakeholders from Australia’s the not-for-profit sector at a gala dinner held in Federal Parliament on 16 July 2019.

     

    This highly coveted award was presented by The Associations Forum, a body committed to assisting associations and charities in governance, operations, membership and finances.

     

    Carl Gibson said he was proud of the CMA’s commitment to members: “With over 1,500 Associations in Australia, this is a superb achievement and testament to the dedication of our team and their commitment to the complementary medicines industry in Australia.”

     

    The Association of the Year Award recognises the association that has distinguished itself by achieving all-round excellence with demonstrated the ability to influence government decision making, deliver world-class conferences and exhibitions and publish accurate and important market intelligence. It also acknowledges the fact that thanks to careful financial management, CMA works hard to provide cost effective services members. The award is also recognition of the continual evolution that helps to ensure that CMA is and remains relevant to the dynamic needs of our member businesses.

     

    “Inspirational direction from the Board of Directors and the support of a highly engaged membership has meant that CMA can support complementary medicines industry in Australia to grow, create jobs, demonstrate and deliver world-class quality products, operate sustainably and open new doors to international trade. Being named Association of the Year recognises the dedicated individuals who work to ensure that we are and will continue to be an integral partner to our important industry,” said Carl Gibson.

     

    CMA is proud to accept this award and would like to stress that our commitment to providing leadership, strategy, advocacy and support remains high on our agenda. It is a fantastic and independent recognition of our success for our members and everyday Australians who rely on high quality complementary medicines to support their health.

     



    Further Information:

    Ravinder Lilly: Ravinder.Lilly@cmaustralia.org.au

    02 6260 4022

     

  • 09 Jul 2019 4:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This report is in response to the tragic death of a young man who overdosed on caffeine taken in the form of an unknown powder. https://7news.com.au/news/health/young-mans-death-prompts-fathers-bid-to-ban-caffeine-supplement-powder-c-204573

    The article reports on the substance being banned in the US last year after similar deaths occurred, while ready access is still available in Australia. Products regulated in other jurisdictions as dietary supplements are considered in Australia as either Foods or Therapeutic Goods; there is no separate dietary supplement category. It is not clear what type of product the caffeine powder product was, the article alludes to it as being a Food and as a Therapeutic Good, but this is not clear.
    The Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) does not include any products considered to be pure caffeine powder supplements.

     

    Caffeine in Australian Sports Foods

    The Food Standards Code restricts how much caffeine can be added to cola-type soft drinks and energy drinks. Foods containing added caffeine must also have a statement on the label that the product contains caffeine. In terms of a food, the caffeine content is usually from guarana (a South American plant with naturally high levels of caffeine). Foods containing guarana must also be labelled as containing caffeine, this is to help people avoid caffeine if they wish.

     

    Caffeine in Complementary Medicines

    The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has historically limited the quantity of caffeine in listed low risk complementary medicines (those with an ‘AUST L number’) to 100mg, approximately the amount of one cup of coffee. This has been provided that it states it was for adults only and disclosed the relevant amount of caffeine in the product. Other, higher risk ‘registered’ (AUST R) TGA medicines were only permitted to contain larger amounts of caffeine if approved by the TGA.

     

    In 2018, the TGA provided a proposal to allow a limitation of 600mg of caffeine in listed, low risk medicines. CMA responded cautiously, providing that such a dose could only be allowed for medicines that were allowed to be self-selected from retail shelves, if additional protections were put in place for consumer safety.

     

    After analysing international regulatory practices for caffeine products, CMA proposed that the new quantity of caffeine could only move forward if any individual dose was limited to 200mg, consistent with the European Food Safety Authority safety evaluation. Each dose must be given at least three hours apart, up to the proposed daily maximum of 600mg. CMA further proposed that there must be additional label warning statements, to protect children and pregnant consumers, as well as a label statement to tell consumers how many cups of coffee was equivalent to a certain amount of caffeine so that consumers could more easily and safely estimate how much they could safely take.

     

    CMA has always, and continues to support the safe, quality use of foods and complementary medicines, including an appropriate level of regulation to protect consumers from any harmful or tragic consequences from consuming unregulated products.

     

    The safety of consumers

    The CMA strongly advises consumers who are contemplating buying medicines in retail outlets around Australia or over the internet, to look for either the Australian listing number (AUSTL) or Australian registration number (AUSTR) on the product label. This way, they can be sure that the TGA regulates the products. Products available for purchase over the internet including from overseas-based internet sites without an AUSTL or AUSTR number are not Australian regulated medicines and may not be subject to the same level of quality, safety or efficacy control as medicines regulated for sale in Australia by the TGA.

     

  • 13 Jun 2019 4:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear Member

    Time is running out!

    The Medical Board of Australia (MBA) public consultation on Complementary and Unconventional Medicine and Emerging Treatments will conclude on 30th June 2019. 

    Recently, in collaboration with ‘Your Health Your Choice’ (YHYC), CMA created a simplified response form to encourage public submissions to the MBA. We;ve already had over 8,000 submissions - what an amazing effort! 

    But the MBA submission deadline is looming and we strongly encourage CMA members to help this campaign exceed 10,000 submissions. 

    What you can do: 

    1 Share this link on your social media accounts

    2 Email your database with a link to YHYC form and ask your database not only to fill in the form, but to also encourage their family, friends and/or patients to do the same. 

    What makes the YHYC submission process unique? 

    YHYC have simplified the submissions process by creating a unique form to allow people to generate a personalised email, which is then automatically forwarded to the MBA on their behalf. To motivate people to take action, we suggest that they share their positive stories/experiences with integrative healthcare. The YHYC form also: 

    1 Ensures the best quality submissions are received by providing prompts on what to include 

    2 Requests permission to send a copy of the submission to the current health and assistant health ministers 

    3 Auto generates personalised emails to the MBA which shows the form submitter's name as the sender providing their email to reply to. 

    4 Ensures each submission requests the MBA maintains the status quo (Option 1). 

    In February 2019, YHYC initiated a similar campaign that generated 13,324 personalised emails to Minister Hunt, State LNP Senators and LNP Federal Members. This public pressure was the primary reason Minister Hunt instigated a $2 million review update, with a view to reinstate rebates for “certain” therapies. 

    We hope that similar public pressure will see the MBA maintain current guidelines (Option 1). 

    Thank you for your time, thank you for being heard!

    Team CMA


  • 06 Jun 2019 11:39 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
     

    Recently, a number of news stories have questioned some of the pharmacological actions of turmeric. Turmeric has been used for thousands of years and has been an integral part of Ayurvedic medicine. It is one of the most popular complementary health products. Here are  four evidence-based facts about this widely used, anti-inflammatory spice:

     

    1. Turmeric is an increasingly popular supplement and a health food. The active compounds (primarily curcuminoids) that exert its therapeutic effects are found in varying quantities amongst different turmeric products. Concentrations of the active compounds are found in low amounts in the raw spice and dry herb extracts, whereas supplemental turmeric extracts provide standardised quantities of curcuminoids, which have been found to exert clinically significant effects.
    2. Human clinical trials have shown standardised turmeric extracts to be safe and effective in the management of osteoarthritis,[i] headaches,[ii] depression,[iii] non-alcoholic fatty liver disease,[iv] type 2 diabetes,[v] and various other pathologies.  
    3. As with all therapeutic ingredients, there is the potential for herb/nutrient/drug interactions. With regards to turmeric, its anticoagulant actions are due to the phytochemical coumarin, which may increase the risk of bleeding in individuals taking concurrent anticoagulant medications.
    4. All turmeric supplements listed with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) of Australia are subjected to rigorous scientific and safety evaluation and are deemed to be safe for use. Safety concerns around turmeric have being thoroughly researched and documented, with the potential for herb/drug interactions well understood.

     

    Clinical-grade turmeric offers significant therapeutic benefits in many chronic diseases. However, because of the potential for herb/drug interactions, it is always recommended that consumers consult a qualified healthcare practitioner with the appropriate knowledge to safely co-prescribe turmeric.


    [i] Chandran B, Goel A. A randomized, pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of curcumin in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis. Phytother Res. 2012 Nov;26(11):1719-25. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4639.

    [ii] Di Pierro F, Rapacioli G, Di Maio EA, Appendino G, Franceschi F, Togni S. Comparative evaluation of the pain-relieving properties of a lecithinized formulation of curcumin, nimesulide, and acetaminophen. J Pain Res.

    2013;6:201-5. doi: 10.2147/JPR.S42184.

    [iii] Lopresti AL, Maes M, Maker GL, Hood SD, Drummond PD. Curcumin for the treatment of major depression: a randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled study. J Affect Disord. 2014;167:368-75. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2014.06.001.

    [iv] White CM, Lee JY. The impact of turmeric or its curcumin extract on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: a systematic review of clinical trials. Pharm Pract (Granada). 2019 Jan-Mar;17(1):1350. doi: 10.18549/PharmPract.2019.1.1350.

    [v] Poolsup N, Suksomboon N, Kurnianta PDM, Deawjaroen K. Effects of curcumin on glycemic control and lipid profile in prediabetes and type 2 diabetes mellitus: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2019 Apr 23;14(4):e0215840. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0215840. eCollection 2019

    [i] Chandran B, Goel A. A randomized, pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of curcumin in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis. Phytother Res. 2012 Nov;26(11):1719-25. doi: 10.1002/ptr.4639.

    [ii] Di Pierro F, Rapacioli G, Di Maio EA, Appendino G, Franceschi F, Togni S. Comparative evaluation of the pain-relieving properties of a lecithinized formulation of curcumin, nimesulide, and acetaminophen. J Pain Res.

    2013;6:201-5. doi: 10.2147/JPR.S42184.

    [iii] Lopresti AL, Maes M, Maker GL, Hood SD, Drummond PD. Curcumin for the treatment of major depression: a randomised, double-blind, placebo controlled study. J Affect Disord. 2014;167:368-75. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2014.06.001.

    [iv] White CM, Lee JY. The impact of turmeric or its curcumin extract on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: a systematic review of clinical trials. Pharm Pract (Granada). 2019 Jan-Mar;17(1):1350. doi: 10.18549/PharmPract.2019.1.1350.

    [v] Poolsup N, Suksomboon N, Kurnianta PDM, Deawjaroen K. Effects of curcumin on glycemic control and lipid profile in prediabetes and type 2 diabetes mellitus: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2019 Apr 23;14(4):e0215840. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0215840. eCollection 2019
  • 04 Jun 2019 4:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Complementary medicine is becoming more and more popular. Consumers of Australian made products can be confident that they are manufactured according the highest standards. Strict guidelines set by the government’s Therapeutic Goods Administration are used to protect consumers, provide the highest quality products and ensure that what they read on the label is what they’ll get inside the bottle.


    Consumers increasingly want to take control of their own health and interest in natural and complementary medicines is becoming more and more popular. Consumers of Australian made products can be confident that they are manufactured according the highest standards. Strict guidelines set by the government’s Therapeutic Goods Administration are used to protect consumers, provide the highest quality products and ensure that what they read on the label is what they’ll get inside the bottle.

     

    In Australia, complementary health products are regulated to the highest standards – standards considered to be a global benchmark. Products are more strictly regulated than those from the USA and even the UK. Australian complementary medicines are manufactured to a pharmaceutical standard under Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and, these strict safety and quality regulations are stringently enforced by the Department of Health’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

     

    For example, where labelling is concerned, the TGA requires that several compulsory statements are made on Australian complementary medicines labels[i]. Products feature an AUST L or AUST R number printed on the front of the label. If these are absent, the product has not been produced within the strict guidelines required by the Australian governmental departments. They do not comply to Australian quality standards.

     

    Australian made products are tested regularly and comprehensively to ensure that the ingredients on the label are those in the bottle and this and the many strict processes put in place ensure that consumers have access to well researched, responsibly formulated, evidence-based, high-quality products.

     

    As consumers increasingly become interested in the traditional use of herbs, spices vitamins, minerals and more, and in the potential synergy and greater understanding of complementary medicines, the understanding of how complementary medicines work alone and in conjunction with conventional medicine by consumers and by healthcare practitioners becomes vital[ii].  Several complementary health companies provide extensive nutrient and drug interaction databases for use by practitioners – including pharmacists and integrative physicians[iii].

     

    Thankfully, consumers can have confidence in Australian made complementary medicines since the ingredients, warnings, recommendations, contraindications and therapeutics claims are tightly controlled. However, this confidence does not extend to products bought online  from overseas.

     

    Products purchased online from overseas are not subject to the same regulations as those enforced in Australia, and therefore these purchases should only be made on the recommendation of a qualified healthcare professional or from a reputable retailer.

     

    To find out more contact: media@cmaustralia.org.au.

     

     


    [i] https://www.tga.gov.au/labelling-packaging

    [ii][ii] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1551741116303308

    [iii] https://www.blackmoresinstitute.org/interactions

  • 14 May 2019 2:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Complementary Medicines Australia (CMA) welcomes initiatives announced in the 2019 Federal Health Budget, handed down on 2 April 2019. CMA says the 2019 Budget contains a number of health-related measures that are welcomed. But the opportunity to significantly invest in preventive health to build a more sustainable health system longer-term for Australia has been missed. 


    The government is investing a record $104 billion in health in 2019-20 as part of a patient-focused investment of $435b over the next four years:

    • $737m over seven years for mental health and suicide prevention including
      $461m to address youth mental health and suicide prevention.
    • $448.5m investment over three years from 2020-21 for the primary care/chronic care funding model to support more flexible care models
    • $386m to encourage more Australians to participate in sport, upgrade sporting infrastructure and support elite sport
    • 1.1m of extended funding for the Health Star Rating (HSR) System food labelling scheme for an additional two years, with a review of the system to ensure it is meeting objectives. 
    • $20m for a national anti-smoking campaign
    • $6 billion over the forward estimates for medical research, including $160 million on the Indigenous Health Research Fund
    • $17.2m for the development of activities and strategies to address a range of specific chronic conditions such as the Public Health and Chronic Disease Grant Program that will fund activities aimed at preventing and managing specific chronic conditions or disease groups that have been recommended in National Strategic Action Plans
    • A further investment of $430m in genomics research.

    CMA Board President, Paul Mannion said: “While the budget contained a number of welcome initiatives in primary healthcare, it has not significantly invested in prevention and a more deep-seated health reform that will ensure the system is sustainable in the longer term. With an ageing population and half of all Australians already having at least one chronic disease, the need to place a stronger focus upon preventive health has never been more critical.”

    Paul Mannion added: “An older and unwell population can only foreshadow higher healthcare costs in the future unless there is a focus and shift towards early prevention, encouraging healthy and active ageing, and supporting individuals to take control of their health. While Australia has a good health system by international standards, rising health costs represent an obstacle to future reform.”

    Preventive health
    Globally, Australia has well-developed public health programs (such as immunisation) and good infrastructure (water supply, food quality). There are many positive attributes that contribute to the Australian system – world-class medical researchers, low smoking rates, a population that is generally accepting of health-promoting regulations, and the existence of political leadership and bipartisanship on major health issues. Our life expectancy at birth has increased greatly over the last century. This places us in the top third of member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for life expectancy with an age of 80.4 years for males and 84.6 for females. 

    Still, it is recognised that the Australian health system has room to improve. One in two Australians suffers from chronic disease and these conditions are responsible for most deaths. Treating chronic disease costs the Australian community an estimated $27 billion annually, accounting for more than a third of our national health budget. Australia is ranked in the worst third among OECD countries for obesity among people aged 15 and over, and our alcohol consumption is slightly above the OECD average.

    Yet Australia spends just 1.5% of health expenditure on preventative health.
    The amount is considerably less than other OECD countries - Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, indicating there are many missed opportunities. Opportunities such as evidence-based prevention measures for overweight and obesity, the growing cohort of older Australians, people with mental health issues and the needs of indigenous Australians.

    When looking at Australia’s spend on health prevention, it must be remembered that one-third of all chronic diseases are preventable and can be traced to four lifestyle risk factors:

    1. Alcohol use
    2. Tobacco use
    3. Physical inactivity
    4. Poor nutrition

    The key to determining the appropriate prevention spend is to compare the added value of an increase in spending on preventive health against the opportunity cost of doing so. A growing body of evidence indicates that selected complementary medicine preventive health initiatives are highly cost-effective, especially in the prevention and management of chronic conditions. This is not limited to, but certainly includes, the use of complementary medicines for primary and secondary prevention of illness and encouraging and empowering all Australians to take better care of their health.

    Complementary medicines are an important and culturally acceptable part of healthcare around the world, representing for many people an accessible, affordable way to actively contribute to their health. All indicators reflect that there is a real and immediate role for smarter preventive health.


  • 05 Apr 2019 8:16 AM | Anonymous

    The Complementary Medicines Industry today welcomed an announcement by the Australian Government, that when implemented, will provide greater clarity for companies using Country-of-origin representations and foster the continuation of the Australian Made logo for complementary medicines manufactured in Australia, under TGA-GMP licensed facilities.

    Read the media release here

  • 18 Feb 2019 11:15 AM | Anonymous

    Complementary Medicines Australia (CMA) today welcomed the publication of the Government’s official export figures for complementary medicines, which shows that Australian exports have now nearly topped $1 billion for the first time.

    Read the media release here

  • 06 Feb 2019 3:38 PM | Anonymous

    Complementary Medicines Australia (CMA) pre-Budget submission is calling for a health check on the implementation of the new therapeutic goods legislation.

    Read the media release here

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