Advertising therapeutic goods

Advertisements for therapeutic goods can be presented in several forms, including:

  • magazines
  • newspapers
  • television
  • radio
  • Internet
  • Posters
  • Billboards
  • medical journals

Certain advertisements directed at consumers require approval prior to broadcast or publication.

Advertising to consumers is permitted for the majority of medicines available for over the counter sale, while advertising prescription-only and certain pharmacist-only medicines to the general public is prohibited. (However, government-controlled public health campaigns that have been approved by Health Ministers are exempt from this prohibition).

The advertising of therapeutic goods to consumers and health practitioners is controlled by a combination of statutory measures administered by the TGA and self-regulation through Codes of Practice administered by the relevant therapeutic goods industry associations.

Advertisements for therapeutic goods in Australia are subject to the requirements of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 and Regulations, the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 and other relevant laws. Advertisements for therapeutic goods directed to consumers must also comply with the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code.

The purpose of these requirements is to protect public health by promoting the safe use of therapeutic goods, ensuring that they are honestly promoted as to their benefits, uses and effects.

Further information, on Australia's co-regulatory system of advertising for therapeutic goods, including details of the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code Council (TGACC), the Complaints Resolution Panel and the Complaints Register, may be obtained from the TGACC Internet site.

Educational seminars

The Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code Council (TGACC) regularly presents educational seminars in a number of capital cities throughout the year. The fundamental and advanced educational seminars cover the current requirements for the advertising of therapeutic goods to consumers in Australia and are open to all interested persons. Further information on the seminars can be found in the TGACC advertising seminar brochure, which can be downloaded from the TGACC website.

Regulation of advertising

  • Regulation of therapeutic goods advertising in Australia
    Advertisements for therapeutic goods are subject to the requirements of the Therapeutic Goods Act and Regulations, the Trade Practices Act and other relevant laws.
  • Therapeutic goods advertising code
    Links to and information about the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code
  • Restricted representations
    A restricted representation is any reference expressly or by implication, to a disease, condition, ailment or defect specified in Table 1, Appendix 6 of the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code
  • Advertising medicines to consumers
    Controls are placed on the advertising of therapeutic goods - medicines and medical devices to ensure advertisements are socially responsible, truthful, appropriate and not misleading.
  • Advertising prescription medicines to health professionals
    Advertising registered prescription medicines to consumers is not permitted, but advertising is permitted to healthcare professionals within the scope of the legislation
  • Schedule 1 of the Therapeutic Goods Regulations explained
    This fact sheet addresses misunderstandings about the aims of the Therapeutic Goods Act and Regulations, and their effect on the ability of complementary healthcare professionals obtaining access to therapeutic goods and related advertising material.
  • Schedule 1 certificates
    The TGA Advertising Unit often receives requests for Schedule 1 Certificates also referred to as Certificates of Exemption

Scheduled substances

Complaints about advertising

Complaints about advertisements directed to consumers in specific media (such as newspapers, magazines, the Internet, radio and television) are considered by the Complaints Resolution Panel. The Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code Council makes recommendations about the advertising requirements and any changes to the Code.

Advertising forms

Regulatory decisions & notices about advertising

Advertising reform

Contact details for enquiries about advertising therapeutic goods

If your enquiry is not about advertising therapeutic goods, please see: Contact the TGA

  • 1800 020 653 (freecall within Australia)
  • +61 2 6232 8757

Users who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment can call through the National Relay Service:

  • TTY or computer with modem users: phone 1800 555 677 then ask for 1800 020 653
  • Speak and listen (speech to speech relay) users: phone 1800 555 727 then ask for 1800 020 653
Fax +61 2 6232 8426
Post Recalls and Advertising
Post-Market Surveillance Branch
Therapeutic Goods Administration
PO Box 100
Woden ACT 2606, Australia
Street address
(for deliveries)
Therapeutic Goods Administration
136 Narrabundah Lane
Symonston ACT 2609