In a momentous announcement during incoming Prime Minister Christopher Luxon's government coalition update, the new government declared it will repeal the Therapeutic Products Act 2023.

In this article, we discuss the implications of this decision and where to next for legislation around therapeutic products and natural health.

On 24 November 2023, the new three-party government of the National, ACT and New Zealand First was confirmed. As part of the announcement, National’s two Coalition Agreements with ACT and New Zealand First were released to the public. Amongst other policy directions announced, the Coalition Agreements record the decision to repeal the Therapeutic Products Act 2023 (Act), which was only recently passed in July this year.

The decision to repeal the Act is not completely unexpected, and the Therapeutic Products Bill (Bill) has been controversial since it was introduced to Parliament on 30 November 2022. NZ First leader, Winston Peters, indicated earlier this year that NZ First would repeal the Act and, as we reported in our earlier article on the passing of the Bill, Hansard from the Bill’s Third Reading demonstrated strong opposition from National and ACT members, who raised concerns about decreasing New Zealand exporters’ global competitiveness as well as increasing costs in the natural health and cosmetics sectors.

Déjà vu

Historically, Parliament has made numerous efforts to repeal and replace the Medicines Act 1981, which has been in place for over 40 years. In both 2006 and 2011, bills addressing therapeutic products were introduced but ultimately discontinued. The decision to repeal the Act echoes these past attempts by Parliament to reshape and modernise the regulatory landscape for therapeutic products and the natural health industry.

What does the repeal mean?

The proposed repeal means that the legislation originally intended to be replaced by the Act – the Medicines Act 1981, the Dietary Supplements Regulations 1985 and Sunscreen (Product Safety Standard) Act 2022 – will remain in force. Given the outdated nature of the current regime, there will still be a need to revisit some aspects over time. However, that’s not looking likely to be any time soon.

We will continue to monitor any developments and keep a close eye on whether the newly formed government will introduce new legislation in this space. However, for the time being, it's business as usual for those in the therapeutics, dietary supplements and cosmetics industries.

Get in touch

If you would like to discuss any aspect of this article, and what this might mean for you, please get in touch with one of our experts.

Special thanks to Priya Prakash and Harrison Brown for their assistance in writing this article. 



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