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MEPH Pharmacy Pty Ltd fined $39,960 for the alleged unlawful advertising of nicotine vaping products
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has issued three infringement notices totalling $39,960 to Melbourne-based company MEPH Pharmacy Pty Ltd for alleged advertising breaches relating to nicotine vaping products.
It is alleged that MEPH Pharmacy Pty Ltd unlawfully advertised nicotine vaping products on their website and other social media accounts. Under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989, nicotine vaping products are prescription only medicines (in Schedule 4 of the Poisons Standard) and cannot be advertised to the Australian public.
Those engaging in a business which involves the import, manufacture, supply or advertising of therapeutic goods are expected to be aware of the regulatory requirements in Australia, including the types of conduct that are prohibited.
Pharmacies who supply nicotine vaping products to consumers with a prescription are able to lawfully advertise this service if they meet the conditions in the relevant regulatory permission. The alleged unlawful advertising in this case was not consistent with the permission.
The TGA considers advertising breaches relating to nicotine vaping products a serious matter and is taking prompt and appropriate action to ensure compliance with the law. The TGA's nicotine vaping products compliance and enforcement plan sets out an intelligence-informed, risk-based approach to addressing non-compliance.
Other nicotine vaping product related enforcement actions have included:
- Sydney-based company Mason Online Pty Ltd fined $106,560 for alleged advertising breaches of nicotine vaping products
- Melbourne company Australia Utopia Pty Ltd fined $93,240 for alleged advertising breaches for nicotine vaping products
- RV Global Ecommerce Pty Ltd was fined $39,960 for alleged unlawful advertising of nicotine vaping products
- A Melbourne-based individual was fined $18,648 for alleged advertising breaches in relation to nicotine vaping products
- An individual based in Melbourne was fined $7,992 for alleged unlawful importation of nicotine vaping products
- NSW company JMIT Distributors Pty Ltd fined $79,920 for alleged advertising breaches involving nicotine vaping products
- NSW based executive officer fined $10,656 for alleged unlawful advertising of nicotine vaping products
An infringement notice is an alternative to commencing court proceedings, see Information about infringement notices for more information.
The TGA has published comprehensive information about nicotine vaping products on its website, including for consumers, on how to legally access nicotine vaping products following consultation and a prescription from their doctor as a treatment to help stop smoking.
The TGA advises consumers that if they are considering buying nicotine vaping products online, it is important to be careful especially when the seller does not ask for a valid prescription before supplying products containing nicotine. Consumers are encouraged to ask the overseas supplier questions about the ingredients and manufacturing of the product.
The TGA has conducted laboratory testing on a number of vaping products and has found a large number to contain undeclared nicotine or prohibited substances that are harmful when inhaled.