Pharmacy allegedly advertised prescription goods

A Victorian pharmacy has racked up 17 infringement notices and been fined more than $200,000 over alleged unlawful advertising of therapeutic goods

Net Pharmacy Pty Ltd, a company based in Victoria, has been issued the 17 notices totalling $214,200 by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

The advertisements in question were for prescription only therapeutic goods that included peptides, Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators (SARMs) and hormones.

They were published on two websites, one of which also allegedly promoted the use of stem cells.

The TGA highlighted that the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 prohibits advertising to the general public of a substance, or a good containing a substance, included in Schedule 4 (prescription only medicine) of the current Poisons Standard.

It also notes that “Stem cells are a type of human cell and tissue product that are regulated as biologicals and cannot be advertised to the general public”.

“It is alleged that one of the website advertisements included a reference to cardiovascular disease. Under the Act, representations concerning a serious form of a disease, condition, ailment or defect, such as cardiovascular disease, are restricted representations,” the TGA said.

“The use of restricted representations in advertisements for therapeutic goods is unlawful without the express permission of the TGA.”

The TGA reminded advertisers that it takes action against advertising breaches.

“The regulatory scheme is important to the safety of Australian consumers and the TGA investigates suspected unlawful activity in relation to therapeutic goods.

“A range of compliance and enforcement tools are available and where necessary, this may include criminal or civil court proceedings, which can result in substantial penalties, fines or imprisonment.

“Any person, including businesses, must comply with the requirements for advertising. The TGA encourages online advertising complaints to prevent potentially serious consequences.”

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