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The Different Classes of Medicines in the Pharmaceutical Industry

Medicine has become a crucial part of contemporary life, and it comes in varying forms. Without advancements in science in this field life would be far shorter, and its quality far lower than we know it to be today. Vaccinations, treatments, supplements and cosmetic products have been enriching our quality of life exponentially for centuries; and the field has grown to such a degree that there are even various classes of medicines.

Because of the importance that they play in our lives, each of them is carefully regulated in terms of their use, production, ingredients and packaging, this way, consumers are kept protected from sub-par products that can do more damage than good; and their degrees of regulation differ depending on what type of medicine it is. So, to give you a broader understanding, here is a little more info on how these products are classified.

Pharmaceutical and Biological Medicines

Pharmaceutical medicines are those that are used to treat and relieve illnesses. They are generally considered a crucial part of treatments for diagnosed medical ailments. Pharmaceuticals generally need to be sourced with a prescription from a medical practitioner, however some products can be bought over the counter. Because of the importance and nature of these types of medicines, they undergo stringent regulatory processes before they are considered fit for consumption.

Complimentary or Alternative Medicines and Treatments

Complimentary medicines are those that are used alongside pharmaceutical treatments, though are not considered a primary means of treatment. They may include supplements, painkillers and alternative procedures such as homeopathy and traditional Chinese medicines. These treatments are often not enough on their own, but are best approached alongside others.


Cosmetics dominate a large portion of the medical sphere, though have no immediate treatment or relief advantages associated with them. Instead, these products are designed to maintain bodily aesthetics; and as such, are not a crucial form of medicine. However, the width of their use and the possible outcomes and side-effects associated with them means that they, like pharmaceuticals, also need to be strictly and uniformly regulated.

Contact MRA Regulatory Consulting for Details

To find out more about how our team can assist you with the regulatory processes of the pharmaceuticals that you are producing, contact one of our representatives at MRA Regulatory Consultants today, or visit our website for further information on our offers.

Different Forms of Complimentary Medicines and Treatments Complimentary medicines have become a fairly accepted part of the healthcare field, and while there is somewhat of a divide in people who believe in them and those who don’t, many of them do actually come with evidence of success and effectiveness. Because so many people rely on… Continue Reading

Phrases you Won’t See on a Label Anymore The food, consumables and many other industries have the responsibility of ensuring that their consumers are properly informed before making any purchases; which is why labels have become a standard on all retail products. And while they are generally well governed according to the Consumer Protection Act… Continue Reading

Guidelines for Labelling Regulations in South Africa Labelling and packaging on commercial goods serves a far more important function than simply attracting consumers. It provides them with information that allows them to make an informed decision about their purchases. This is because labels are expected to contain information on nutritional information (in the case of… Continue Reading

Templates for Authoring Regulatory Documents in Africa   MRA has created CTD document templates and their links to guidance documents to assist you in writing your regulatory documents. These templates will ensure consistency in presentation of documents and support the author in finding the relevant current guidance documents to consider and refer to when writing… Continue Reading

Other News 24 February 2017 Call-in for all businesses involved in the sale and distribution of Medical Devices and IVDs to license within a certain period: Manufacturers and Distributors – within 6 months Wholesalers – within 12 months Call-up Notice R 204, Gazette 23128 of 22.02.2002 rescinded. This call-up addressed the submission of abbreviated regulatory information… Continue Reading

eCTD News The eCTD has gone live as a submission format for all new applications for registration. The Implementation Guidance of the South African eCTD specification v2.1 and the related Validation Criteria v2.0 was published on the MCC website and updated in November 2016. Continue Reading

Changes to Regulations to the Medicines and Related Substances Act Draft General Medicine Regulations were published for comment on 27 January 2017. The comment period (3 months) closes on 26 April 2017. Follow the link to view the regulations: 2017-01-27_GG40577_MedicinesAct_Draft_GeneralMedicineRregulations Regulations Relating to Medical Devices and In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices (IVDs) were published on 9… Continue Reading

Training Offered We provide project based mentoring for regulatory departments and bespoke training for your regulatory affairs team. Training in compliance requirements related to Good Practice expectations for healthcare products is also offered for: Company Executives & Board Members Pharmacovigilance Officers GxP for Applicants / Holders of Certificates of Registration Regulatory Documents | Authoring & Editing… Continue Reading

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