The Australian Health Industry Association has announced it will introduce a new policy aimed at reducing the amount of high-risk products and ingredients in its supply chain.
The policy, announced on Wednesday, will allow products to be sold in a controlled environment in which they have been tested for safety and effectiveness and can be labelled and tested to ensure they are safe and effective.
The group will also consider introducing labelling and testing guidelines to ensure that the products are being sold responsibly.
‘High-risk items’ Australia’s health industry is grappling with the high level of high risk products that are entering the market, with the number of high impact products rising from a peak of about 300 million in 2014 to more than 500 million in 2021.
But the number is expected to decline by 30 per cent by 2035 as more consumers opt for the healthier alternatives, such as non-surgical treatments and natural products.
This comes as the Australian Government announces a number of measures to address the high-risks, including the introduction of a national labelling system, as well as new labelling guidelines that will help to prevent high-reactivity products entering the system.
The health industry says the guidelines will help consumers better understand and avoid high-impact products.
‘This is a new approach to labelling, which will provide an opportunity for more consumers to understand the risks of these products,’ Dr Helen Lohmann, health affairs manager for the Australian Health, said in a statement.
‘We know that people with health issues are very sensitive to high-potency products and we need to be sure that our labelling is clear and consistent with the advice of the experts.’
‘High risks’ labelling policy Australia’s leading health body, the Institute of Medicine, released a report in 2016 on the high risk of low-dose products, which include many non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are used for treating pain, fever, arthritis and other conditions.
It estimated that the number was at least five times higher than the number in the general population, and there was a higher risk of death due to low-level drug use.
The report said that a lack of understanding of the risks posed by low-potent drugs made them more likely to be used, and this meant people were at greater risk of dying or serious complications.
The guidelines will also focus on preventing the use of high levels of potentially harmful substances in non-therapeutic settings, such in schools and workplaces.
‘Low-risk drugs are not safe, high-level drugs are safe,’ Dr Lohman said.
‘The key to a healthy life is to be safe, and to be healthy and active, and that means that low-risk and high-dose drugs are part of that healthy life.
‘It’s important that we know that when we buy these products, that they’re safe, that we’re taking them safely and that they work as well or better than other therapies.’
Low-risk foods and drinks Low-dose ingredients are often marketed to consumers as low- or no-risk, with labels that only say ‘no-risk’.
These products include: low-carbohydrate or ‘low-fat’ beverages containing no more than 15g of carbohydrate per serving