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Monday, 23 March 1987
Page: 1357

(Question No. 5123)

Mr Wright asked the Minister for Health, upon notice, on 20 February 1987:

(1) Has his attention been drawn to publications being distributed by the Australian Natural Therapists Association claiming that the Government has circulated a draft bill which will take away the right of purchase of natural remedies from the public and which will require doctors' prescriptions for these remedies.

(2) Are these changes being considered.

(3) Will he invite the Association to meet with him to clarify the reasons for their campaign of misinformation.

Dr Blewett —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Yes.

(2) Amendments to the Therapeutic Goods Act 1966 are proposed, but they will not have the effects claimed by the Australian Natural Therapists Association. The public will not be required to obtain prescriptions for natural remedies, except for particularly potent preparations identified from time to time by the National Health and Medical Research Council, as is currently the case. Members will recall that on 19 February 1987 I circulated a letter to all Members and Senators, which corrected the inaccuracies in the Association's publications.

(3) Yes. I propose to meet with senior representatives of the Association on 18 March.