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Labtest Direct issued with a $12,600 infringement notice for alleged advertising of COVID-19 test kits

24 April 2020

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has issued an infringement notice for $12,600 to Melbourne based company Labtest Direct Pty Ltd for the alleged advertising of COVID-19 Rapid Test kits.

The Facebook advertisement posted in April 2020 included a reference to COVID-19, which is a restricted representation under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (the Act). A restricted representation refers to serious diseases, conditions or disorders. The use of restricted representations in advertisements for therapeutic products is unlawful without the express permission of the TGA. These include representations in relation to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Illegal advertising of therapeutic goods is of significant concern to the TGA given the current COVID-19 pandemic. The TGA recently published a warning to advertisers and consumers about illegal advertising relating to COVID-19.

The TGA takes action against advertising breaches

The regulatory scheme is important to the safety of Australian consumers and the TGA investigates allegations of unlawful activity in relation to therapeutic goods.

The TGA regulates all medicines, medical devices and biologicals used in Australia, and implements a range of compliance and enforcement tools . Where necessary this may include criminal or civil court proceedings, which can result in substantial penalties, fines or imprisonment.

Any person, including businesses, must comply with the TGA requirements for advertising. The TGA encourages online advertising complaints to prevent potentially serious consequences.