People with disability, seniors and vulnerable people in the community will be impacted by a new regulatory tax from July 1, warns Assistive Technology Suppliers Australasia (ATSA).
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) will apply a new $530 medical devices regulatory tax to hundreds of assistive technology (AT) devices that aid and assist those with disability and seniors. According to ATSA, these additional costs will be passed on to those who can least afford it.
ATSA executive officer, David Sinclair, said this situation could have been avoided if the TGA had consulted the industry before applying the new tax. “The TGA was reviewing the requirements for the listing of AT devices however this review has not been completed so the full impact of the new tax is not clear.
“This approach by the TGA is most likely to damage a number of small businesses and create barriers to introduce new technology into Australian market,” Sinclair said. “The TGA has not understood the impact of this decision on a low volume, low margin, sales-based industry. Not only will it increase prices, it is likely to reduce choice as suppliers opt not to import or manufacture some niche but much needed products.”
ATSA is calling on the TGA to produce a public consultation paper that sets out the reason for the new regulatory tax of $530 per Class 1 medical device, and how much revenue the Australian Government expects to collect as a result of its introduction.
ATSA has joined a growing number of organisations including the Australian Dental Industry Association (ADIA), Australian Medical Manufacturers and Distributors Association (AMMDA) and the Optical Distributors and Manufacturers Association (ODMA), in calling for the tax to be withdrawn, so that it can be subjected to public scrutiny for the first time.
Sinclair told F2L that ATSA has asked the TGA why there was no consultation despite the fact that they held all the contact addresses and details of affected businesses.
“ATSA will meet with the TGA and the Health Minister Greg Hunt to find out what led to this situation, however we have been told that the new taxes stand and as such we are seeking government intervention, until appropriate consultation of the implications can take place,” Sinclair said.