The uncritical enthusiasts versus the uninformed sceptics: regulation of complementary and alternative medicines

J Law Med. 2005 Aug;13(1):106-24.


The introduction of a treaty between Australia and New Zealand to regulate complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) has revived the age-old debate between advocates of conventional medicine and those of CAM, particularly with regard to the standards of regulation that should be applied. Currently, the systems for regulating CAM products in Australia and New Zealand are very different, making harmonisation contentious, as the proposed treaty follows the Australian system very closely. New Zealand and Australian principles of good regulatory practice stipulate that only minimum necessary standards should be imposed, and should be transparent, understandable and equitable. It is argued that the proposed treaty does not adhere to good regulatory standards, and that other forms of harmonisation should be sought to avoid adopting a regulatory regime in New Zealand that is overly restrictive and harmful to the New Zealand CAM industry.

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Complementary Therapies / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Government Regulation*
  • International Cooperation*
  • National Health Programs
  • New Zealand