Associate health minister announces repeal of Therapeutic Products Act

Under the Act, certain products would be over-regulated

Associate health minister announces repeal of Therapeutic Products Act

Associate Health Minister Casey Costello has announced the pending full repeal of the Therapeutic Products Act (TPA).

"The current Medicines Act is outdated, and the TPA was not the right solution. It would have over-regulated some products and imposed unnecessary costs on consumers, businesses, and exporters”, she explained. "The medicines and products in question are essential for the health of New Zealanders. Our goal is to ensure cost-effective access to the appropriate products to support health outcomes and remove unnecessary barriers for exporters".

Costello shared that she intended for the repeal bill to be passed this year.

"Industry groups have expressed concerns that their products, particularly lower-risk items like some natural health products, would be over-regulated. Consumers, importers, and practitioners have indicated that over-regulation could make these products more expensive or unavailable. I am not convinced that the Act would have improved the approval times for new medicines”, she said.

The majority of the TPA’s provisions were scheduled to take effect on 1 September 2026; thus, businesses or practitioners will not be required to modify current operations. Moreover, consumers will not experience disruption.

Costello confirmed that the government would craft a "modern, risk-proportionate regulatory regime for medicines and medical devices, along with a separate updated regime for natural health products".

"The new framework should support innovators and health practitioners and provide timely access to new and promising therapies. The right system should also reduce pressure on general practitioners and the hospital system", she said.

The government is set to look into proposals for new laws to streamline the approval process for new medicines. The government intends to ascertain that regulation backs health and medical product innovation as well as economic growth.

"There will be engagement with key groups through this process. I hope we can build on some of the work that has already been done in this area and look forward to hearing from consumers, industry, and practitioners so that we develop the best possible law and frameworks", Costello said.

The repeal of the TPA is in line with commitments made in the National-New Zealand First and National-ACT coalition agreements.

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