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Complementary medicines industry in crisis after recall of 1546 products

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.326.7397.1001/a (Published 10 May 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:1001
  1. Bob Burton
  1. Canberra

    A decision by Australia's medicines regulatory body, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, to suspend for six months the production licence of Pan Pharmaceuticals has thrown the country's complementary medicines industry into chaos and precipitated the resignation of the company's chief executive and founder.

    The company makes about 70% of Australia's vitamins, minerals, and herbal medicines. Pan also manufactures over the counter painkillers and cold preparations. The complementary medicines industry in Australia is worth about $A1bn (£0.4bn; $0.6bn; €0.6bn) a year.

    The decision came after a three month audit of the company's quality control standards. According to the Therapeutic Goods Administration the audit found “systematic and deliberate manipulation of quality control …

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