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Source: New Zealand Parliament – Hansard



Question No. 1—Health

1. JAMIE ARBUCKLE (NZ First) to the Associate Minister of Health: What updates can she provide, if any, on the repeal of the Therapeutic Products Act 2023?

Hon CASEY COSTELLO (Associate Minister of Health): The Government has committed to begin work to repeal the Therapeutic Products Act 2023 within its first hundred days. I will be taking a paper to Cabinet next week seeking approval to progress this work.

Jamie Arbuckle: Why does the Minister want to repeal the Therapeutic Products Act?

Hon CASEY COSTELLO: The Therapeutic Products Act was not fit for purpose. Appropriate regulation of medicines and medical devices is vital to ensure that these products do what they claim, are high quality, and that product approval pathways do not make them inaccessible or unaffordable. We also know that the current fragmented and outdated approach to the regulation of natural health products means that New Zealand is missing out on a significant proportion of opportunity to grow jobs and the economy. We need to develop a fit for purpose regulatory system for both.

Jamie Arbuckle: Will repealing the Therapeutic Products Act adversely impact medical safety or health outcomes of New Zealanders?

Hon CASEY COSTELLO: The Act has a commencement date of 1 September 2026, so no changes are required from the health sector or industry. I have received advice that implementing the changes required to meet the commencement date would’ve been extremely challenging. This poses the real possibility of poor outcomes for New Zealanders.

Jamie Arbuckle: How does the Minister intend to progress work on replacing the Therapeutic Products Act?

Hon CASEY COSTELLO: The Government has an opportunity to replace the Therapeutic Products Act with legislation that protects consumers without creating unnecessary red tape on industry. We know that communities, the health sector, and industry have concerns, and we intend to listen to those concerns as we develop new proposals.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: So, will big pharma, that’s tried to control this part of the market in New Zealand for the last 2½ decades, be finally, again, put back in its place?

Hon CASEY COSTELLO: We are confident we will have effective legislation that will deliver good outcomes.