TGA Fees to increase the cost of dental care

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Troy Williams of the ADIA.

Proposed increases in fees and charges by The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) will exacerbate already high dental costs, according to the Australian Dental Industry Association (ADIA).

The ADIA has asked the Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing, the honourable Catherine King MP, to quarantine dental products from the full impact of a 5.6 per cent increase in fees and charges.

“The proposed increase of TGA fees and charges is met by the suppliers of quality dental products and will be passed on to consumers, thus increasing the cost of dental care for all Australians,” said Troy Williams, ADIA Chief Executive Officer.

ADIA has advised the Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing that the proposed increase in TGA fees and charges will negate some of the benefit of additional public funding for dental care which has been proposed by both the Government and Opposition.

The funding model adopted by the TGA forms the basis for the annual fee adjustments, and comprises a 50 / 50 composite of the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Wage Cost Index and Labour Price Index.  The proposed composite index for FY2012-2013 is 3.6 per cent.  The TGA has proposed an additional increase, of up to 2 per cent, to pay for the cost of implementing regulatory reform.  It is this second increase that ADIA believes should be set aside and not levied on dental products.

“ADIA has asked the Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing set aside the proposed increase of TGA fees and charges of up to 2 per cent for the coming year that are associated with the cost of funding the TGA’s regulatory reform program,” Mr Williams said.
Mr Williams noted that the TGA has engaged the Apis Group, a private consulting firm, to develop a high-level regulatory reform implementation plan and it is understood that this work is ongoing.

“If, as has been suggested, the TGA does not currently have an implementation plan the cost of regulatory reform cannot have been properly calculated. Therefore, there is no basis upon which the TGA can have accurately assessed the required fee increase,” Mr Williams said.

ADIA has noted that the TGA typically generates more revenue from medical device (including dental product) regulation than it spends, an outcome inconsistent with the cost-recovery basis on which the TGA operates.  TGA documents show that fees and charges associated with medical device regulation produced forecast revenue over FY2011-12 of $24.9million and a surplus of $3.3million. The budget estimates for medical device regulation over FY2012-13 are for revenue of $26.3million and a surplus of $4.3million.

 

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