Parts of the Therapeutic Goods Regulations require that patients should be able to obtain easily understandable information about their medicines. Dentists are covered by the regulations and are obliged to provide this information. At present this applies to therapeutic goods, essentially the substances listed in the Uniform Poisons Schedules 4 and 8. Only substances approved recently by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) are required to have consumer product information (CPI) available, although it will probably soon be available for almost all drugs. The product information sheet will be prepared by the manufacturer and submitted to the TGA.

When dentists administer or supply drugs requiring CPI, they are obliged to observe the Therapeutic Goods Regulations. Advice has been received from the TGA that the provision of the regulations would be satisfied if the patient were informed by the dentist that CPI was available from the dentist if requested.* Clearly, provision of CPI is not possible where drugs are used in an emergency. However, the information should be available to patients at an appropriate time following the emergency treatment.

* Correspondence from the Therapeutic Goods Administration

R.G. Woods

Australian Dental Association