The Uniform Recall Procedure for Therapeutic Goods (URPTG) Explained

The URPTG is a crucial framework designed for Australian sponsors of therapeutic goods. It outlines a structured approach for undertaking recall and non-recall actions when safety concerns arise.  By establishing clear procedures, the URPTG facilitates efficient and effective responses to product issues, minimizing potential risks to public health.

The URPTG also clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders involved in therapeutic good recalls. This includes sponsors, manufacturers, healthcare professionals, distributors, and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) itself.

Key Responsibilities of Sponsors under the URPTG

The URPTG places the responsibility on the sponsors or suppliers to be vigilant about potential problems with their products. sponsors are responsible for having a robust system for identifying and reporting any safety concerns or quality issues.  When a potential problem is identified, the URPTG mandates that sponsors follow a specific procedure for notifying the TGA and determining the most appropriate course of action, whether it's a full recall, product defect correction, or another measure. The URPTG provides clear guidelines to ensure a timely and effective response.


Recent Updates to the URPTG (V2.4)

The TGA recently implemented a new version of the URPTG, V2.4, which took effect on March 26, 2024. This updated version incorporates several key changes aimed at streamlining the recall process and improving clarity for stakeholders. Here's a breakdown of the most significant updates:

  1. Enhanced Clarity on Immediate Recalls: The updated guidelines provide more specific requirements for situations demanding immediate recalls. This ensures a swift response to critical safety hazards.
  2. Streamlined Reporting for Australian Red Cross Lifeblood: The requirement for monthly compiled lists of Single Donor Notifications from the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood has been eliminated.
  3. Introduction of the 'Early Advice' Process: The URPTG V2.4 introduces a new "Early Advice" process. This allows sponsors to proactively engage with the TGA to discuss potential supply issues in the market before a formal recall is implemented.
  4. Refined Recall Information Release: The updated guidelines offer clarification on the timing for the TGA to release recall information to the public.
  5. Flexible Recall Reporting Requirements: The reporting process has been refined, offering sponsors more flexible timeframes for submitting reports. Additionally, the requirement for a 2-week report has been removed.
  6. Classification of Class III Recalls: The definition of Class III recall actions is now clearer, with a guide for estimating the classification included. This enables sponsors to categorize recalls accurately.
  7. Customer Response Forms: The term for “customer acknowledgement forms” has been updated to "customer response forms." The URPTG V2.4 provides additional clarity on the requirements for these forms.
  8. Template Removal and Online Accessibility: Previously available recall action document templates have been removed. Sponsors can now access all templates directly from the TGA website.
  9. Lead Regulator Roles: The URPTG clarifies the roles of the TGA and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) as "lead regulators" for recalls involving therapeutic goods that are also classified as consumer goods.
  10. Outdated Guidance Removal: The updated URPTG eliminates outdated information, such as guidance on addressing letters, labelling envelopes, and submitting notifications via email.
  11. Minor Editorial Amendments: V2.4 incorporates a number of minor editorial changes to enhance clarity and consistency throughout the document.


In conclusion, the updated URPTG (V2.4) reinforces Australia's commitment to ensuring the safety and quality of therapeutic goods. By staying informed about the latest guidelines and adhering to the outlined procedures, sponsors can contribute to a robust system that safeguards public health and facilitates effective product recalls when necessary.

Medical device regulatory consultants, like Qualtech Consulting, can offer support throughout the URPTG process. Their expertise helps manufacturers navigate the complexities of the regulations.  Consultants can decipher specific requirements, like notification timelines and communication protocols.  In the event of a recall, they play a key role in developing a comprehensive strategy. This strategy includes risk assessments, clear communication plans, and prioritized consumer safety measures.  

Qualtech Consulting Corporation has been a trusted partner for medical device manufacturers for over 20 years. Whether you’re a local startup or an international player, we empower your devices to enhance lives. 

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