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ATMS media watch.

The aim of the ATMS Media Watch service is to look at the scientific evidence and develop good news stories supporting the natural medicine industry and ATMS members. For example, if a new study comes out finding that massage could help relieve migraines, it would then be distributed to all of our members who have listed their e-mail address with ATMS. ATMS members would be encouraged to re-post the article and so assist to increase exposure to the story.

Another aim is to respond to negative press and put forward a positive alternative. For example, a hypothetical Dr Smith publishes an article stating there is no evidence for the use of acupuncture. The ATMS Media Watch team then collates a raft of studies supporting the use of acupuncture and showing its effectiveness in many situations. We will also comment on medical drugs and suggest alternative treatment methods for conditions that require these medical drugs. We will, of course, not recommend that anybody stop taking any medications.

We need your help! If you come across negative or positive information about natural medicine, please submit the information to and we will respond in a prompt manner to 'nullify the negative' and promote the positive' information.

With your help, we will endeavour to promote natural medicine across Australia and across the world, while supporting ATMS members' practices.

TGA Reforms

In May 2013, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) commenced a consultative process on reforms to the advertising of therapeutic goods. Details of the reforms were published in the September 2013 issue of the Journal of the Australian Tradiional-Medicine Society.

On 25 August 2013, a seminar was sponsored by ATMS on the reforms, and the guest speaker was Professor John Skerritt, National Manager of the TGA. On 2 October, ATMS representatives met with Professor Skerritt and Dr Larry Kelly of the TGA to further discuss the impact of the reforms on herbalists, naturopaths, homeopaths and nutritionists. On 25 October, ATMS hosted a meeting of the associations to discuss a unified strategy to the reforms.

ATMS's main concern is the proposed removal of Schedule 1 from the Therapeutic Goods Regulations 1990 (Cth), and whether members will lose their status as healthcare professionals in Therapeutic Goods Law. ATMS representatives are negotiating with the TGA, and other stakeholders, to attain a solution which is in our best interests.

TGA Certificate

Since 1991, ATMS has issued the Certificate of Advertising Exemption, commonly known as the 'TGA Certificate', to enable members to receive practitioner only products.

The TGA reforms will mean that a new system to identify properly qualified herbalists, naturopaths, homoeopaths, and nutritionists will be introduced. In our discussion with the TGA it was understood that the TGA Certificate was not required to be issued in this transitional period. Therefore, we will not be issuing you with a TGA Certificate this year.

This will not affect your access to purchase practitioner-only products. In the improbable event that you experience a difficulty with a distributor, please let us know and we will rectify it.

If members need more information, please contact Raymond Khoury, Chair of the ATMS Regulatory committee, via email

Stephen Eddey | Vice President of ATMS
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Title Annotation:MEDIA WATCH; Australian Traditional-Medicine Society
Author:Eddey, Stephen
Publication:Journal of the Australian Traditional-Medicine Society
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Dec 1, 2013
Previous Article:Proposed reforms to advertising of therapeutic goods.
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