Surgical mesh to be restricted

Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter is welcoming moves by Medsafe to limit the supply of surgical mesh products for urogynaecological (transvaginal) surgeries.

“Hundreds of women in New Zealand have seen their health and lives compromised because of surgical mesh, and I gladly welcome changes to restrict usage,” Ms Genter said.

“This will prevent further harm to women being caused by surgical mesh.

“Today’s announcement follows Australia’s announcement last week that they are also limiting supply of these devices,” Ms Genter said.

Medsafe is using powers under the Medicines Act 1981 to limit the supply of these devices and require suppliers to provide safety information about their devices. Medsafe’s action requires suppliers to either confirm that they will comply with the requirements of the TGA in Australia, or to supply information supporting continued use for these indications within the next 45 days. The deadline for this information is January 24, 2018.

“People need to be able trust that when they go to the health system they will get assistance and aid to help them. Today’s step is an important in restoring faith in our medical system to do the right thing.

“Today’s announcement is the first step of a process to ensure that products like surgical mesh are as safe as comparable products for New Zealanders,” Ms Genter said.