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MMDR: Advertising reforms

15 December 2020

Reforms to the regulatory framework for advertising of therapeutic goods have been implemented in response to the recommendations arising from the Review of Medicines and Medical Devices Regulation.

The reforms included changes that streamlined complaints handling, enhanced sanctions and penalties available for addressing non-complaint advertising, and abolishment of the requirement for certain advertisements to be pre-approved.

Advertising hub

The advertising hub contains tools for both consumers and advertisers around the regulatory framework for advertising therapeutic goods, including guidance, fact sheets, decision trees and forms for reporting illegal advertising and submitting enquiries. Opportunities for face-to-face and online learning sessions are also published in the hub.

Simplified arrangements for handling advertising complaints

In 2018, the Therapeutic Goods Administration took responsibility for receiving and considering all complaints about therapeutic goods advertisements directed to the public under a simplified system.

Enhanced sanctions and penalties

In 2018, stronger compliance and enforcement tools to address non-compliant advertising of therapeutic goods were introduced.

Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code 2018

The Code has been updated with a more objective set of requirements that give advertisers more clarity and better support the use of compliance and enforcement tools (where these tools are necessary). These changes facilitate advertising of therapeutic goods in a manner that promotes the quality use of the product, is socially responsible and does not mislead or deceive the consumer.

Requirement for advertising pre-approval

On 1 July 2020, the legislation requiring medicines advertising in certain forms of media to be pre-approved was removed. This change streamlines the process of advertising therapeutic goods to the public and provides consistency in advertising requirements for medicines and medical devices.