Many concerns about this TGA takeover were submitted in consultation submissions. They were ignored.
On 16 August 2018, I sent a letter to Health Minister Hunt. I was concerned that:
- The TGA’s new complaint system was much less transparent than the one it replaced.
- The promised Therapeutic Goods Advertising Committee to oversee the new system had yet to be established.
I have yet to receive a response from Minister Hunt, presumably because he has been too engaged with the recent leadership turmoil within the Liberal Party.
I now have more unsatisfactory “outcomes” of the TGA’s new complaint system:
The lack of transparency of the new TGA complaint system provides no help to consumers concerned that they may have purchased a product with upheld complaints, or consumers who wish to check the status of a product currently being advertised, even if the product has been the subject of a “critical” complaint.
While this is convenient for industry and the TGA, it is appalling consumer protection.
I have corresponded with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) about this matter. They suggested I contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman. This has now been done.
I have asked the Ombudsman to request the TGA ensures:
- The product name and advertiser of all complaints judged to breach of the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code be reported and be searchable on the TGA web site.
- The TGA follow up “educational letters” and other interventions and report if compliance has been achieved.
- The TGA report outcomes for the large numbers of complaints sent by the CRP to the TGA because regulatory action was needed.