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Pre-approval no longer required for ads in specified media

1 July 2020

Medicine ads in television, radio, print media, cinema, billboards or other public displays ('specified media') no longer require pre-approval following parliamentary changes to the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (the Act). The changes came into effect on 1 July 2020.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) continues to regulate advertising content and there is now greater responsibility on advertisers to ensure their advertising is fully compliant. There are sanctions and penalties for advertising that does not comply with the Act and the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code.

Approval still required to advertise using restricted representations

Advertisers must still obtain approval from the TGA before referring to serious diseases, conditions, ailments or defects (restricted representations) in consumer advertising for therapeutic goods.

Know your responsibilities

Before you advertise it is your responsibility to understand the legislative requirements.

Ads for therapeutic goods available to consumers are subject to the requirements in the Act and the Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code (the Code). The Code sets the requirements to ensure ads are socially responsible and do not mislead or deceive the consumer. Advertisements also need to comply with other relevant laws (e.g. the Competition and Consumer Act 2010).

To help avoid non-compliance, the TGA Advertising hub contains a range of tools for both consumers and advertisers, including guidance on the advertising requirements and fact sheets.

Get advice from someone who knows the rules

There are a number of rules to understand, and for new advertisers it is worthwhile doing your research and seeking advice. We suggest you view our SME Assist video on advertising.

For advice specific to your advertising, you may wish to seek independent legal advice or the assistance of a regulatory affairs consultant or advertising advisory service. You can find a list of organisations that may be able to assist you on the TGA Website.

More information

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