Medsafe is seeking to follow international standards to improve labelling of non-active substances (called excipients) in medicines sold in New Zealand. They have confirmed a six week period of public consultation and Coeliac New Zealand would like to urge all members to make a submission on the Ministry of Health’s Consultation Hub.
Unlike foods, most medicines and related products are not required to list all the ingredients included in the medicine on the package label. Now Medsafe is asking for people’s opinions on proposed changes to package labelling requirements
Medsafe’s Group Manager Chris James says changes to labelling is a really important step to ensure medicines are as safe as possible for all users. “The consultation is asking members of the public, healthcare professionals, consumer groups and industry whether a number of different substances should be included on medicine labels.”
“Some of those substances include egg and egg products, gluten, soya beans and soya bean products, tree nuts and pollen. There are a number of other substances listed in the consultation too,” says Mr. James.
“The Medicines Regulations 1984 already requires medicines and other related products to include any warning statements required by Medsafe, either on the medicine package or on an information sheet for patients.” People can already use Medsafe’s Product/Application search to check the ingredients in their medicine, however the proposal to expand the list of warning statements to include a range of non-active substances including gluten is highly supported by Coeliac NZ. Improving the availability of information about ingredients in medicines, so that people with coeliac disease can make informed decisions and better manage the requirement to follow a strict gluten-free diet to prevent long-term health concerns is beneficial to consumers.
The CNZ Medical Advisory Panel will be making a submission on behalf of the organisation and we urge all Coeliac NZ members to likewise also make an individual submission by completing the survey.
The date for submissions close on the 8th August.