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Herbal medicine practitioner fined $2,664 for making 'miracle' claims

2 March 2022

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has issued an infringement notice of $2,664 to a NSW based herbal medicine practitioner for an alleged breach of the Advertising Code.

It is alleged that the individual advertised, on their social media, the use and supply of herbal and complementary medicine products implying that those products could be used to treat and prevent coronavirus and COVID-19 infection. The advertising allegedly claimed the products were "a miracle covid treatment that no-one is speaking about". The goods themselves were advertised to "…address COVID infection by reducing viral load, …combats cytokine storms and lowers risk of lung damage".

The use of the 'miracle' claim contravenes paragraph 9(1)(c) of the Advertising Code which states that an advertisement about therapeutic goods must not contain any statement, pictorial representation, or design that, expressly or by implication, represents the goods to be infallible, unfailing, magical or miraculous.

Some herbal, homeopathic and natural medicines are exempt from the requirement to be included in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods. However, advertisers of exempt therapeutic products must still comply with other requirements in the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989, including the manufacturing rules and compliance with the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code.

The TGA encourages the reporting of suspected non-compliant advertising.