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Pharmacist fined $30,240 for alleged unlawful advertising

17 June 2020

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has issued twelve infringement notices totalling $30,240 to a Victorian-based pharmacist from Armadale for alleged unlawful advertising of therapeutic goods.

The advertisements, which appeared on the pharmacist's website, were for prescription only therapeutic goods such as peptides and hormones.

The Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (the Act) prohibits advertising to the general public for a substance, or a therapeutic good containing a substance, included in Schedule 4 (prescription only medicine) of the current Poisons Standard.

It is alleged the advertisements included references to serious conditions such as multiple sclerosis and infertility. Under the Act, representations concerning a serious form of a disease, condition, ailment or defect are restricted representations. The use of restricted representations in advertisements for therapeutic goods is unlawful without the express permission of the TGA.

The TGA takes action against advertising breaches

The regulatory scheme is important to the safety of Australian consumers. The TGA investigates suspected unlawful activity in relation to therapeutic goods. A range of compliance and enforcement tools are available and 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 requirements for advertising. The TGA encourages online advertising complaints to prevent potentially serious consequences.