Toughen up alternative medicine

LABELS on alternative medicines, and the testing done on the products, should get tougher, a major review of medicines has recommended.

The federal Health Department review of medicines and medical device regulation was released on Friday.

It found up to one in four "complementary medicines" chosen for random review last year were breaching regulations, as were 61% of those under 'targeted reviews'.

Complementary medicines include traditional and alternative therapies such as vitamin, herbal and homeopathic products.

The review called on the Therapeutic Goods Administration to increase its testing and review program. It also urged the TGA be given the power to ban some medicines and restrict the claims made on labels about the benefits.