‘Smart drugs’ earn fine

Queensland man fined nearly $8k for alleged unlawful importation of nootropics containing script-only medicine

The TGA has issued three infringement notices totalling $7,992 to a Queensland man, for the alleged unlawful importation of a medicine containing armodafinil.

The man allegedly imported tablets that were branded ‘Waklert’ that were not included in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG).

Under Australian legislation, therapeutic goods must be entered in the ARTG before they can be lawfully imported into Australia—unless a specific exemption, approval or authority applies.

Armodafinil, a prescription-only medicine, is often referred to as a ‘nootropic’ that promotes wakefulness and alertness.

The TGA strongly advised consumers to be assessed by their doctor before taking any nootropic medicine.

“If your doctor decides that a nootropic medicine is a safe and appropriate treatment for your medical condition you will be given a prescription that can be filled at a pharmacy. Your doctor will also explain the potential side-effects of the medicine.”

Nootropic medicines are also mistakenly referred to as “smart drugs”—in name only, says the TGA.

The TGA has published a warning about so-called smart drugs, saying their off-label use is “not a wise choice”.

Many of these are Schedule 4 prescription-only medicines and consumers may be unaware that by buying such medicines online, they are potentially putting their health at risk and may also be breaking the law.

Under Australian law, it is illegal to buy or import prescription-only medicines without a valid doctor’s prescription.

“The use of medicines that are not in the ARTG can be a serious health risk to consumers,” said the TGA.

“The TGA is urging Australians to be vigilant when buying medicines online, particularly when vendors ask to purchase their products through unorthodox methods, such as Bitcoin.”

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