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The Traditional & Natural Health Alliance (TNHA) believes in preserving natural, holistic and traditional healthcare for all South Africans.

We recognise the interconnection between growers, manufacturers, suppliers, practitioners and consumers of natural health products. We believe in putting health before wealth, upholding traditional values and being open to new ideas that serve to strengthen and protect the natural health sector. We’ve made a commitment to educating our members and the public about policies and regulations that affect them, our planet and future generations.

RECENT NEWS HEADLINES

MCC to reschedule ALL Cannabidiol-containing products to Schedule 4

On the 28th of July the Medicines Control Council, in consultation with the Minister of Health gazetted a regulatory notice scheduling various substances in terms of section 22A(2) of the Medicines and Related Substances Act (Act No. 101 of 1965). One of the substances hidden at the bottom of page 27 of the gazette was Cannabidiol, or more commonly known... Read More

AstroTurf Protesters? – Day 2

Yesterday we posted an article about the dodgy group of protesters outside the Pretoria High Court after linking them to certain organisations and individuals linked to this trial. Today Jules Stobbs of the Dagga Couple made a video of this mob as he returned to the court after a lunch recess. Below is a leaked photograph of the professional catering... Read More

Are there AstroTurf Protesters at the Trial of the Cannabis Plant?

On what was supposed to be the first day of the Trial of the Cannabis Plant at the Pretoria High Court yesterday, a ragtag mob of about thirty predominantly male protesters stood in front of the court shouting rhetorical anti dagga epithets and holding placards with slogans like ‘No to dagga’ , ‘Dagga Ruins Lives’ , ‘Dagga Kills’ etc. What... Read More

CBD Oil (Cannabidiol) declared a Schedule 6 Prescription Drug

By: Anthony Rees (National Chairman – TNHA) On the 28th of July, and just four days preceding the Trial of the Cannabis Plant by the Dagga Couple, the Medicines Control Council, after consultation with the Minister of Health spuriously gazetted a list of substances to be included in the schedules in terms of section 22A(2) of the Medicines and Related... Read More

High Court Legalises Cannabis for Personal Use

The Western Cape High Court has made a landmark ruling, declaring that it is an infringement to ban the use of dagga by adults in private homes. In making the ruling on Friday, it has allowed for the possession, cultivation and use dagga at home, for private use. It has also ruled that Parliament must change sections of the Drug... Read More

ICMRA UPDATE – Austrian Drug Regulator becomes Associate Member

From March 20th, 2017 the Austrian Federal Office for Safety in Health Care (Austrian Medicines and Medical Devices Agency) has become an associated member  of the ICMRA (International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities). ICMRA is voluntary, executive-level, strategic coordinating, advocacy and leadership entity of regulatory authorities that work together to address current and emerging regulatory and safety-related issues with regard... Read More

New SA Guidelines for Cannabis Herb Growing, Storage and Processing.

The Medicines Control Council have just released new guidelines for the CULTIVATION OF CANNABIS AND MANUFACTURE OF CANNABIS-RELATED PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCTS FOR MEDICINAL AND RESEARCH PURPOSES. Stakeholders have been given one month to submit comments and suggestions to the MCC. These guidelines precede imminent new regulations for Cannabis-related medicines, and will accompany them as a framework for local licensed growers producers.... Read More

Draft Regulations for the Medicines and Related Substances Act Gazetted for Comment

The long awaited draft General Regulations which will accompany the new Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Act towards mid-year this year, and which will create the legal mechanism to launch the new South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA), were gazetted for comment by the Department of Health on the 27th of January. The SAHPRA will replace the Medicines Control... Read More

TNHA Presentations on the IKS Bill to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Science & Technology

On the 26th of January we submitted written comments and made an oral submission to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Science and Technology on the Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Systems Bill (Bill 6 of 2016). This controversial Bill in its current form threatens the on-going practice of African Traditional Medicine by an estimated 200 000 traditional... Read More

ICMRA HARMONISATION UPDATE

ICMRA HARMONISATION UPDATE In June this year the TNHA broke the news of an international medicines regulatory harmonisation scheme being orchestrated behind closed doors by the heads of twenty international drug regulatory bodies, called the International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities, or ICMRA in short. We are particularly concerned about this secretive organisation, following revelations about it having established a... Read More

THE CAM CROSSROADS – WHERE ARE WE HEADING?

THE CAM CROSSROADS – WHERE ARE WE HEADING? Today the South African Natural Health Product (NHP) industry stands at a crossroads and its stakeholders remain dazed and confused like antelope caught in oncoming headlights.  With only two years left for manufacturers, importers and distributors to submit applications to the Medicines Control Council (MCC) to register their products, we are fast... Read More

HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY LABELS ON SUPPLEMENTS ARE SO VAGUE?

HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHY LABELS ON SUPPLEMENTS ARE SO VAGUE? By: Julia Rucklidge, PhD & Bonnie Kaplan, PhD   The NZ government is currently writing a new law (Natural Health Products Bill) aimed to regulate natural health products (NHPs). What is happening in New Zealand is not unique: the push for tighter controls on NHPs is occurring all over... Read More

OPPOSITION TO INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE SYSTEMS BILL MOUNTS

OPPOSITION TO INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE SYSTEMS BILL MOUNTS The Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Systems (Bill 6 of 2016) is facing strong head winds from traditional healers and some political parties, leading up to the Public Hearings which are expected to be held in Parliament early next year. The Portfolio Committee on Science and Technology have been meeting... Read More

CHINESE MEDICINE FOR AFRICA

CHINESE MEDICINE FOR AFRICA On the 2nd of November last year (2015) South African President Jacob Zuma and Chinese President Chinese Xi Jinping officiated 26 new trade and skill-based transfer related agreements on President Jinping’s first state visit to South Africa. During this visit the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was established and deals between both countries worth R96 billion were... Read More

THE COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE REGULATIONS MUST FALL!

THE COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE REGULATIONS MUST FALL! Anthony Rees (TNHA Chairman) In last month’s newsletter we announced that the long awaited draft regulatory amendments for natural health products had been gazetted on the 25th of July, and that we would provide you with our official comments on them. After reading them closely we have concluded that the Medicines Control Council (MCC)... Read More

PROTECTION OR ETHNOPIRACY?

PROTECTION OR ETHNOPIRACY? Is Government Protecting The Traditional Medicine Knowledge of Our Indigenous People, or Imposing a State-Run Ethnopiracy Scheme for Big Pharma and the Biotech Industry? A Critical Review of the Protection, Promotion, Development and Management of Indigenous Knowledge Systems Bill Written by Dr Anthony Rees (National Chairman- TNHA) GLOSSARY OF ACRONYMS USED IN THIS DOCUMENT DST – Department... Read More

SHAM CAM REGULATORY WORKSHOP WITH MEDICINES CONTROL COUNCIL

SHAM CAM REGULATORY WORKSHOP WITH MEDICINES CONTROL COUNCIL MCC throws cams to pharmaceutical industry under opaque international harmonisation scheme Anthony Rees and Sue Schonken (Executive Committee members of the TNHA) 29 June 2016 On Monday the 13th of June the TNHA attended a ‘Regulatory Workshop’ in Midrand, co-hosted by the Health Products Association (HPA) and the Self Medication Association of... Read More

ADVERTISING STANDARDS BODY SLAMMED BY HIGH COURT

ADVERTISING STANDARDS BODY SLAMMED BY HIGH COURT Anthony Rees (Secretary : TNHA) The private company known as the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) was ordered by the Gauteng High Court on the 5th of May to stop accepting complaints or making rulings on advertisements published by non-members.  The interdict effectively prohibits the ASA from banning ads by marketers... Read More

ONLY SIX NATURAL HEALTH PRODUCTS PASS FIRST ‘COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINES’ PRE-REGISTRATION TEST

ONLY SIX HEALTH PRODUCTS PASS FIRST ‘COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINES PRE-REGISTRATION TEST Anthony Rees (Secretary-General TNHA) The Medicines Control Council (MCC) gazetted a notice three weeks ago on the 15th of April in terms of section 14(3) of the Medicines and Related Substances Act (Act No. 101 of 1965). This notice served to inform stakeholders, including the public, which current products are... Read More

OUR CONTINUED ACCESS TO NATURAL HEALTH PRODUCTS IS A FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT

OUR CONTINUED ACCESS TO NATURAL HEALTH PRODUCTS IS A FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT Anthony Rees General-Secretary: TNHA Despite the best efforts of our National Department of Health to reduce the burden of disease in South Africa, many of today’s most common diseases including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other diseases of lifestyle continue to rise sharply in numbers. Just yesterday I... Read More

THE “DRUG-IFICATION” OF NATURAL HEALTH PRODUCTS

THE “DRUG-IFICATION” OF NATURAL HEALTH PRODUCTS By Richard DeSylva RH DNM The Canadian experiences with Natural Health Product regulations, similar to those adopted by South Africa It has been a little more than 10 years since the Natural Health Product Directorate (NHPD) officially brought into force the regulations governing the manufacture & sale of what are now known as ‘NHPs’... Read More

AFRICAN MEDICINES REGULATORY HARMONIZATION

AFRICAN MEDICINES REGULATORY HARMONIZATION A NEW THREAT TO TRADITIONAL & NATURAL HEALTH PRODUCTS THROUGHOUT AFRICA Anthony Rees (Secretary-General: TNHA) A newly adopted African Union Model Law on Medical Products Regulation and the establishment of an African Medicines Agency threatens to undermine the sovereignty of all African Nation-States in their regulation of medicines. This scheme, drafted behind closed doors, will significantly... Read More

TNHA REJECTS DRAFT REGULATIONS FOR THE REGISTRATION OF TRADITIONAL HEALTH PRACTITIONERS

TNHA REJECTS DRAFT REGULATIONS FOR THE REGISTRATION OF TRADITIONAL HEALTH PRACTITIONERS On the 3rd of November last year the National Department of Health gazetted draft regulations for the registration of traditional health practitioners (Gazette No 39358 / Notice 1052).  Three months have been given for comment, ending on the 3rd of February 2016. The draft regulations lay out the criteria... Read More

BILL 6 SIGNED INTO LAW

BILL 6 SIGNED INTO LAW On January 8 President Jacob Zuma assented to, and signed the Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Bill 6 of 2014 into law in terms of section 84(2) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. Anthony Rees (Secretary-General: TNHA) This new Act creates a new legal framework for the Medicines Control Council (MCC) to... Read More

NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE WHITE PAPER MAKES NO PROVISION FOR TRADITIONAL AND NATURAL HEALTHCARE

NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE WHITE PAPER MAKES NO PROVISION FOR TRADITIONAL & NATURAL HEALTHCARE On the 11th of December last month, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi released the White Paper on the National Health Insurance (NHI) as approved by Cabinet.  The R220 billion universal healthcare scheme was announced immediately after the axing of Finance Minister Nene, who was putting a halt on... Read More

CAM REGULATIONS DERAILED

CAMS REGULATIONS DERAILED Anthony Rees (Secretary-General: TNHA) Are natural health product suppliers still compelled to register their products as ‘Complementary Medicines’? Many companies in the natural health product industry scrambled recently to meet the November 15 deadline to apply for registration of certain of their products deemed ‘Complementary Medicines. These products included weight-loss products and sexual enhancement products. Many retailers... Read More

UNNATURAL REGULATIONS

UNNATURAL REGULATIONS Anthony Rees (Secretary-Gerneral: TNHA) There is no denying that the last year was a frustrating for many stakeholders in the natural health industry, as well as for many patients and consumers who rely on these products to achieve and maintain wellness.  Each passing day we receive queries from either retailers, practitioners or health conscious consumers, asking us where... Read More

TNHA TAKES THE HEALTH FREEDOM BATTLE TO PARLIAMENT

TNHA TAKES THE HEALTH FREEDOM BATTLE TO PARLIAMENT On October the 29th, more than 300 traditional healers and many other guests crowded into the Old Assembly Hall of Parliament to listen as the Traditional and Natural Health Alliance presented its views on an amendment to the Medicines Act Bill 6 (also known as the SAPHRA Bill) to the Portfolio Committee... Read More

THE EFFECT OF NEW REGULATORY SYSTEM ON THE NATURAL HEALTH VALUE CHAIN, SECTOR BY SECTOR

THE EFFECT OF NEW REGULATORY SYSTEM ON THE NATURAL HEALTH VALUE CHAIN, SECTOR BY SECTOR MANUFACTURERS In terms of the current regulations, NHP manufacturers are compelled to first register as pharmaceutical companies, following the letter of the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) regulations and guidelines imposed on multi-billion rand pharmaceutical manufacturers.  They are compelled to place a disclaimer on all their... Read More

THE CAM BAN SCAM

THE CAM BAN SCAM THE FUTURE AS WE SEE IT According to many opinion leaders in the Natural Health Product (NHP) industry, the public’s future access to natural health products (NHPs) and those tied to them by profession looks bleak in South Africa.  There is a systematic ‘shut-down’ of natural health products (NHP’s) and choice underway, and it needs to... Read More

REGULATORY UPDATE

REGULATORY UPDATE About six months months ago rumours begun to trickle through to the natural health sector that the Medicines Control Council were realizing that the November 2013 Complementary Medicines regulations were unimplementable for various reasons. We heard the Medicines Control Council were looking abroad for a system that would (a) be less human-resource dependent, and (b) allow for the... Read More

HOW MUCH OF ORTHODOX MEDICINE IS EVIDENCE BASED?

HOW MUCH OF ORTHODOX MEDICINE IS EVIDENCE BASED? Anthony Rees (Secretary-General: TNHA) Many medical ‘experts’ deplore natural health products, claiming that their use isn’t supported by orthodox scientific rationale. In the absence of cost prohibitive, double blind, randomized, placebo controlled trials for most natural health products, this notion persists, despite these substances being used traditionally with success for hundreds, and... Read More

THE ADVERTISING STANDARDS AUTHORITY CHALLENGED

  IS THE ADVERTISING STANDARDS AUTHORITY A SHAM? – YOU DECIDE WHAT POWER DOES THE ADVERTISING STANDARDS AUTHORITY OF SOUTH AFRICA REALLY WIELD? Anthony Rees (Secretary-General: TNHA) Let us introduce you to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).  This is not a government body as you might expect from the “Authority” in its name. It is a private, limited company that... Read More

NATURAL HEALTH THERAPIES AND PRODUCTS CAN SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE GOVERNMENT HEALTH SPENDING

NATURAL HEALTH THERAPIES AND PRODUCTS CAN SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE GOVERNMENT HEALTH SPENDING There is mounting evidence that daily use of natural health products can decrease national healthcare costs.  In a recent article published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements, researchers conducted a cost/benefit analysis that, when applied to at-risk populations who take natural health products, demonstrated a reduction in the odds... Read More

MCC SCHEDULING COMMITTEE REVERSES RESTRICTIONS ON MILK THISTLE HERB

MCC SCHEDULING COMMITTEE REVERSES RESTRICTIONS ON MILK THISTLE HERB The TNHA confirmed yesterday that the Milk Thistle herb (Silybum marianum) and its main active constituent ‘silymarin’ have been rescheduled from Schedule 3 to Schedule 0, after months of appeals to the Scheduling Committee of the Medicines Control Council (MCC). This herb has been proclaimed safe by many drug regulators around... Read More

TNHA REFUSES TO JOIN PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY SECTOR BARGAINING GROUP

TNHA REFUSES TO JOIN PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY SECTOR BARGAINING GROUP Anthony Rees (Secretary-General: TNHA) Just over a month ago the CAMS Working Forum (CWF), of which the TNHA has been a member since its inception, met with Ms Joey Gouws, the Registrar of Medicines of the Medicines Control Council (MCC).  This was the second meeting which she has afforded the CAMS... Read More

TNHA JOINS THE INTERNATIONAL CHORUS AGAINST MONSANTO GMO CROPS

  TNHA JOINS THE INTERNATIONAL CHORUS AGAINST GMO CROPS Anthony Rees (Secretary-General: TNHA) During last weekend’s cold and rainy weather, hundreds of Captonians from all walks of life took to the streets of Cape Town to protest against Monsanto, as part of a global march on the same day in over 500 cities and towns across the globe. This was... Read More

DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE PARTY SHUNS AFRICAN TRADITIONAL MEDICINES

DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE PARTY SHUNS AFRICAN TRADITIONAL MEDICINES Anthony Rees (Secretary-General: TNHA) While on a visit to the friendly city of Port Elizabeth on Monday last week an article in the EP Herald proclaimed that the Democratic Alliance (DA) had voted on whether they would or wouldn’t support the inclusion of African Traditional Medicines (ATMs) into the Medicines & Related Substances... Read More

GOVERNMENT INTENDS REGULATING AFRICAN TRADITIONAL HEALERS AND THEIR MEDICINES

GOVERNMENT INTENDS REGULATING AFRICAN TRADITIONAL HEALERS AND THEIR MEDICINES Anthony Rees (Secretary-General: TNHA) By May 1st all African Traditional Practitioners were required to have been registered with the Traditional Health Practitioners Council, or face jail time for practicing illegally. However, almost a year after an Interim Council was set up and eight years since the passing of the Traditional Health... Read More

CAM REGULATION CRITIQUE BEING HEARD BY GOVERNMENT

CAM REGULATION CRITIQUE BEING HEARD BY GOVERNMENT Anthony Rees (Secretary-General: TNHA) Over the last 15 months, since the Medicines Control Council published its regulations for Complementary Medicines (CAMS) in November 2013, there has been little or no dialogue afforded between a growing number of aggrieved stakeholders and the Medicines Control Council (MCC), despite a plethora of requests for urgent clarity... Read More

BOILING THE FROG SLOWLY WITH CAM REGULATORY CREEP

BOILING THE FROG SLOWLY WITH CAM REGULATORY CREEP Complementary Medicines Regulations:  Unacceptable Regulatory Creep Anthony Rees (Secretary-General: TNHA) The ‘boiling the frog’ story is a widely-known anecdote describing a frog slowly being boiled alive. The premise is that if a frog is placed in boiling water, it will immediately react and jump out, but if it is placed in cold... Read More