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Importance Of Consumer Medicine Information Leaflets In Australia

Importance Of Consumer Medicine Information Leaflets In Australia


Consumer Medicine Information Leaflet (CMI) is a short written brochure that provides information about prescription drugs and medications for pharmacists. A consumer medicine leaflet in Australia provides information on the safe and effective use of prescription and non-prescription medicines (biological and other).    

These written leaflets contain information on prescription medicines and prescriptions, produced in accordance with Commonwealth government regulations, which define what information they contain and how they are presented. Written Medicines Information (WMI) is useful for promoting the appropriate use of medicines by patients and supporting communication with healthcare providers and is available as a printable document or package insert. The inclusion of this information is what makes the CMI so important.    

When a patient takes a new medication, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) recommends that physicians and pharmacists receive a copy of the relevant document, Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) that is made available to them to inform them of the safe and effective use of the prescription over-the-counter drug. Concerns of doctors, pharmacists and patients about the complexity and legibility of current CMI documents prompted the TGA to revise these documents. The issue of access to CMI led to a campaign to return CMI leaflets on pharmaceutical packaging.    

In 2000, the National CMI Guide published the strategy "Quality in Use of Medicines" which was intended to ensure that the information on medicines was designed in a friendly and standardised way to inform consumers, prescription pharmacists and drug readers. Now,  we are in an uncertain and less effective situation, where CMI leaflets are no longer included in the packaging and patients are not given the information they need.    

Doctors and pharmacists have a responsibility to advise patients on the benefits and risks of their medicines, especially when new medicines are prescribed. It is important that patients understand what medications they are taking and how they are taking them. In anticipation of the availability of consumer medical information (CMI) on the Internet and in leaflets, it is not uncommon for consumers to be given medicines without receiving the advice they need to ensure that they are safe and effective when used correctly.    

Prescription medicines in Australia require accompanying consumer medical information, commonly referred to as CMI. One should always rely on websites that provide authentic and trustworthy information about the medicines you will find on the CMIs for most prescription drugs available in Australia.