On 20 November 2014, the Hon Peter Dutton MP, Minister for Health for Australia and the Hon Dr Jonathon Coleman, Minister for Health for New Zealand announced that the Australian and New Zealand Governments had agreed to end efforts to establish the Australian New Zealand Therapeutic Products Agency (ANZTPA), which was to be the joint therapeutic goods regulator.1

This decision to cease efforts was made after a review and assessment of progress and the costs and benefits to both Australia and New Zealand of proceeding with the establishment of the ANZTPA.

While the ANZTPA will not be established, the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and the New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority (Medsafe) will look at other possible harmonisation measures including arrangements for sharing information and providing for the mutual recognition of good manufacturing practice audits.

The decision to cease efforts to establish the joint regulatory agency follows on from the New Zealand Government’s decision to introduce a separate system for the regulation of low-risk natural health products in the New Zealand market. The proposed legislation implementing this change, the Natural Health and Supplementary Products Bill (the Bill), is expected to take effect in the near future.

We will consider in a future publication whether the Bill may provide any new opportunities for those in the direct selling sector.