The Complaints Resolution Panel

25 July 2018

Prior to 1 July 2018 the Complaints Resolution Panel (CRP) was responsible for considering complaints about some advertisements for therapeutic goods. The CRP investigated the complaint and in some cases recommended an action to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

Following the Review of Medicines and Medical Devices Regulation, the TGA now considers all complaints about the advertising of therapeutic goods. The CRP no longer accepts new complaints.

The Complaints Resolution Panel's role in handling advertising complaints (to June 2018)

The Complaints Resolution Panel (CRP) was established under the Therapeutic Goods Regulations 1990 to consider complaints about consumer advertising of therapeutic goods appearing in radio, television, consumer magazines, newspapers, billboards, cinema or the internet.

The CRP determined whether a complaint was justified, and whether the advertising breached the therapeutic goods advertising legislative requirements. Complaint determinations were published in the CRP's Complaint Register.

If the advertiser complied with the determination, no further action was taken. Where the advertiser failed to acknowledge or fully act upon a complaint determination made by the CRP or breached an undertaking, the CRP could then recommend that the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) take follow-up action.

Recommendations to the Therapeutic Goods Administration

On receipt of a recommendation from the Complaints Resolution Panel (CRP), the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) considered the complaint and all the material submitted to the CRP and provided the advertiser with a further opportunity to respond to the complaint and make submissions to the TGA.

The TGA's investigation of the advertising complaint and consideration of the CRP's recommendations had these possible outcomes:

The TGA published the outcome of all referrals from the CRP. The TGA also considered some complaints about advertising of therapeutic goods independently to the CRP, but did not publish these outcomes.

Orders by the Therapeutic Goods Administration

Orders made by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) at this time were given effect under regulation 9 of the Therapeutic Goods Regulations 1990.

Following receipt of an order under regulation 9, an advertiser could seek reconsideration of the decision by the Minister under regulation 48 by lodging a written request within 90 days after the decision first came to its notice.

The lodging of a request for a review of a decision did not affect the operation of a decision made under regulation 9. It remained in effect and needed to be complied with until varied or set aside on review or affected by another order.

Legislative requirements

Advertising legislation has changed since many complaints were finalised. Complaint outcomes should always be considered in the context of the legislation in place at the time the complaint was determined. Previous versions of the Act and the Code are available from the Federal Register of Legislation.