Zuma signs away our access to natural health

President Jacob Zuma has signed the Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Bill 6 of 2014 into law in terms of section 84(2) of the Constitution.

This new Act creates a new legal framework for the Medicines Control Council (MCC) to be scrapped, and for the establishment of a new South African Health Products [sic] Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA), similar to the FDA in the USA. The SAHPRA will no longer be an organ of State, but a self-funded, autonomous, semi-private entity at an arms length from our legislature.

The controversial definition of ‘Complementary Medicine’ (enabling clause) was dropped from the text of the Bill under the instruction of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for Health during the passage of the Bill through the law-making process. Hence complementary and alternative products (and African Traditional Medicines) are not defined in the framework of new Act.