Ads referred to ‘serious’ conditions

medicine label

TGA issues fine of $119,880 for alleged unlawful advertising of complementary medicines

Global Therapeutics has paid penalties of $119,880 after being issued nine infringement notices issued by the TGA.

These infringement notices related to the advertising of five listed complementary medicines sponsored by Global Therapeutics.

The Global Therapeutics’ website allegedly contained unapproved references to “serious” conditions such as upper respiratory tract infections, bronchitis, influenza, and viral and bacterial infections, said the TGA.

According to the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code, conditions are “serious” when they require diagnosis, treatment or supervision by a suitably qualified health professional.

Use of this representation in advertising is restricted by the Code and not permitted for listed medicines.

Global Therapeutics allegedly breached one of these conditions by advertising their medicines for indications that were not accepted in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods, said the TGA in a statement.

“Listed medicines are permitted to be supplied and advertised without full pre-market evaluation by the TGA as long as certain fundamental conditions are met to ensure the medicines are low-risk and suitable for self-selection by consumers,” it said.

“The onus is on sponsors to ensure compliance with these ‘conditions of listing’ and all other relevant requirements under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989.

“Contravening a condition of listing is behaviour that undermines the integrity of the trust-based listed medicines framework.”

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  1. Good that the TGA has acted. However, it would be more helpful to health practitioners, consumers, and industry if the TGA listed the brands involved: Fusion Health and Oriental Botanicals, and the products and claims that offended! The abolished Complaint Resolution Panel published all this information for upheld complaints; the new TGA complaint system is much less transparent and responsive. I have complaints outstanding for over 12 months. When queried, the TGA says, “I can advise that they are currently on hold. As the matters are not related to a priority compliance area, of high risk, and require an evidence evaluation, they are on hold pending availability for review”.

    • Peter Allen

      Stay with it Ken
      The “nuclear” option would be to take it to the press. First, say, Neither Mitchell. Then to the commercial tv early evening “horror” shows.

      Oh, you say those people thrive in such ads — silicea is one of those (in my opinion.). Those “non-serious” condition remedies will be with us forever. Sigh.

  2. Ron Batagol

    Agree, Ken-“it would be more helpful to health practitioners, consumers, and industry if the TGA listed the brands involved”. It just makes it difficult for consumers to identify the products, since, to be fair, they may not be familiar with the range of products that a company is selling and advertising! Another issue that I have with some of the consumer information supplied on the websites for some complementary medicines, is the, often, not easily available, link to references which are stated to be in support of claims in advertisements. Also, in TV ads for medicinal products, you struggle to be able to see what these references are, in the time the ad is on the screen!. Also, although I fully understand the intrinsic marketing logic, but can someone please tell me why celebrities without knowledge of health issues are allowed to be used so frequently, to encourage the sale of various health products when they may not have any expertise in evaluating health issues?

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