The New Zealand government has introduced the “Therapeutic Products Bill,” which will control how products that appear to benefit health are manufactured, prescribed, imported, advertised, supplied, and exported.
The government describes this bill as:
“intended to replace the Medicines Act 1981 and the Dietary Supplements Regulations 1985 to provide for the comprehensive, risk-proportionate regulation of therapeutic products, such as medicines, medical devices, natural health products, and active pharmaceutical ingredients.”
According to Health Minister Andrew Little:
“It will enable New Zealand to take advantage of advances in medicine, such as cell and tissue therapies, emerging gene therapies, and the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning software. Having risk-proportionate approval systems will improve access to necessary and life-saving medicines, such as vaccines in a pandemic.”
Natural Health Products (NHPs) are set to be regulated alongside gene therapies and experimental vaccines.
TLDR: The government is proposing to include Natural Health Products (NHPs) in a new Bill seeking to regulate natural ingredients and compounds alongside pharmaceutical products such as gene therapies and experimental vaccines. If included, this will impact the availability of NHPs and remove the ability for Kiwis to make their own healthcare choices with respect to natural medicines and products.