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New Zealand: Patient safety advocate ‘horrified’ at Government’s plans to drop Therapeutic Products Act

Scrapping the new Therapeutic Products Act (TPA) will leave thousands of New Zealanders exposed to ongoing harm from dodgy medical devices, warn patient safety advocates and legal experts.

The act, which was due to come into force in 2026, would have modernised the regulation of medicines and natural health products, and made medical devices, as well as cell, gene and tissue therapies, subject to a similar regulatory regime as drugs.

The industry has backed the move, saying the new law was heavy-handed and would stop people getting access to the latest lifesaving technological advances.

However, Auckland woman Carmel Berry — who was left in constant knife-like pain from plastic mesh implanted during surgery — said she was “living proof” of the old system’s failures.

It took more than 10 years of lobbying by her and the other founders of Mesh Down Under to get authorities to take action — a decade in which hundreds of other people were injured.

She is horrified that the TPA, signed into law in only July, is on the chopping block.

Beginning work to repeal it was No 47 out of 49 points on the Government’s to-do list for its first 100 days.

“I’m horrified. After so many years of developing and rewriting the act and getting it through ... shame on them.”

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Source: New Zealand Herald,  18 February 2024


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