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Therapeutic Goods Advertising Consultative Committee, 27 August 2020

Communique

4 September 2020

A meeting of the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Consultative Committee (TGACC) was held via video/teleconference on 27 August 2020. TGACC members represent a diverse range of stakeholder organisations including consumer, health professional, industry and media bodies.

The TGA provided a general update including cessation of the legal requirement for advertising preapprovals, the publication of a fact sheet on advertising exclusively to health professionals, and the ongoing need to address potentially unlawful advertising in relation to COVID-19.

TGACC members received a progress report on the implementation of the 22 recommendations from the independent review of the reforms to the therapeutic goods advertising framework, undertaken in the first half of 2020 by Ms Rosemary Sinclair AM. Members noted that some recommendations will be addressed through the publication of the annual Advertising Compliance Report in September 2020.

Members also noted that the TGA has progressed work on the recommendation to establish advertising compliance priorities. TGACC members considered a consultation list of proposed priorities, which are intended to inform the delivery of a strategic response to advertising non-compliance over an 18 month period to the end of the 2021-22 financial year. In addition to the proposed priorities, members noted that the TGA will continue to respond to emerging advertising issues of higher risk and concern. The TGA agreed to provide further information to committee members on the approach used to determine the proposed compliance priorities and invited feedback from members.

The TGACC received a presentation from a working group of the committee, established to support a program of business improvement to advertising compliance processes underway, on the review of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Members discussed the proposed KPIs, which aim to measure the effectiveness of compliance measures in preference to the timeliness indicators currently used. The TGACC considered that more work was needed and members undertook to provide further advice to the TGA on appropriate KPIs. The TGACC provided positive feedback on the assurance work undertaken during the COVID-19 pandemic and supported a KPI related to ongoing compliance measured by reference to entities the subject of compliance action.

The same working group also considered a proposed new web form for receiving reports from the public on advertising non-compliance. TGACC members will provide further feedback on ways to improve the form, taking into consideration ease of understanding by consumers and effective data collection by the TGA.

The TGA has commenced a review of the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code (No. 2) 2018 (the Code) and TGACC members discussed a number of issues that were raised in a discussion paper based on member input in advance of the meeting. It is anticipated that a working group, or groups, of TGACC members will be convened to further examine certain Code topics. It was noted that the TGA will continue to publish guidance and education materials in relation to the advertising and Code requirements.

The next meeting of the TGACC is scheduled to take place in November 2020.