Psychoactive Substances Act 2013

11 Psychoactive Substances Expert Advisory Committee

(1)

This section establishes the Psychoactive Substances Expert Advisory Committee.

(2)

The functions of the advisory committee are—

(a)

to evaluate, with regard to the results of trials, psychoactive products to assess whether they should be approved for use by individuals; and

(b)

to advise the Authority about whether a psychoactive product should or should not be approved for use by individuals; and

(c)

to increase public awareness of the advisory committee’s work in relation to psychoactive substances, for example, by the timely release of papers, reports, and recommendations.

(3)

For the purposes of subsection (2)(a), the matters that the advisory committee must have regard to in evaluating psychoactive products include—

(a)

the specific effects of the product, including pharmacological, psychoactive, and toxicological effects; and

(b)

the risks, if any, to public health; and

(c)

the potential for use of the product to cause death; and

(d)

the potential for the product to create physical or psychological dependence; and

(e)

the likelihood of misuse of the product; and

(f)

the potential appeal of the product to vulnerable populations; and

(g)

any other matters that the Authority considers relevant.

(4)

The advisory committee may comprise up to 6 members who between them must have appropriate expertise in—

(a)

pharmacology; and

(b)

toxicology; and

(c)

neurosciences; and

(d)

medicine; and

(e)

any other areas the Authority considers relevant.

(5)

The Authority may appoint members of the advisory committee on any terms and conditions that the Authority thinks fit.

(6)

The Authority must appoint 1 member as chairperson of the advisory committee.

(7)

The Authority must consult the Minister before making an appointment to the advisory committee.

(8)

The Authority may give terms of reference—

(a)

for the advice that the advisory committee provides to the Authority:

(b)

for the use of external experts to assist the advisory committee.

(9)

The advisory committee may, subject to any provision of this Act or the regulations, determine its own procedure.

(10)

In performing its functions under this Act, the advisory committee must—

(a)

act independently; and

(b)

comply with the principles of natural justice.

(11)

The advisory committee must provide the Minister with a written annual report of its operations.