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NSW individual fined $7,992 for alleged unlawful advertising of ivermectin and zinc for COVID-19

30 November 2021

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has issued three infringement notices totalling $7,992 to an individual for allegedly advertising ivermectin and zinc lozenges to treat COVID-19 in breach of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (the Act).

Ivermectin is a prescription only medicine and cannot be advertised to the Australian public. The TGA has previously warned consumers and advertisers about illegal advertising relating to COVID-19.

The individual allegedly claimed, on their website, that ivermectin and zinc lozenges are effective in the treatment of COVID-19. References in advertising to the coronavirus (COVID-19) are a restricted representation and the individual had not been granted authorisation to make the claim.

It is also alleged that the individual claimed, on their website, that ivermectin is "safe" when used for COVID-19. Under the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code (No.2) 2018 (the Code), the advertising of products for therapeutic use in humans, must not claim they are safe, cannot cause harm or have no side-effects.

Some homoeopathic and natural medicines are exempt from the requirement to be entered in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods. However, advertisers of exempt products must comply with other requirements in the Act, including the rules on restricted representations in advertising, as well as compliance with the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code.

The TGA encourages reporting of suspected non-compliant advertising.

If you suspect non-compliance in relation to therapeutic goods more broadly, you can report illegal or questionable practices online to the TGA.